I Cried Today at Staples

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They asked me what kind of file folders

I would like. I eyed that wall,

boxes of files stacked like bricks

propping up crumbling dreams,

and I couldn’t stop them,

hot tears welling up unbidden,

indecision and nostalgia and sorrow

in liquid form. And I knew

it wasn’t the file folders –

not really. It was more

that after the check-out counter,

after smiling and making small-talk

with a smiling employee about

the weather and the Riders game,

after fighting traffic

and stopping for an iced frappé

on the way, I would carry the bags

and drop them off

with my son

at their new home,

leave them deposited there,

file folders marked ‘Memories’,

‘Fears’, ‘Regrets’; even the expanding

style can’t hold ‘Dreams I’ve Dreamed

for my Son Since He Was Born’,

or ‘Have I Given Him Enough

to Make Him a Man?’ So I stood

in aisle 4 and let the tears drip

until the labels swam, inked

puddles to be filed later.

Born of Blood

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Born of blood, in labour’s pain,

life contracts, and breathes again;

true love’s sacrificial start

is pregnant with a bleeding heart.

*

True love bleeds – first, to give life, then, to sustain it. To love means heartache and pain just as surely as joy. It is entering into another’s world, accepting the call to stand with another through joy and pain, sun and rain. It is choosing to give up comfort to carry another’s burdens. It is accepting the highest calling, to lay aside part of one’s own agenda to champion someone else’s. Isn’t this what God did in setting aside His divinity to become like us, to bleed on our behalf? It is a deep privilege to be called a mother, to copy in some small way the sacrificial love of our greatest Hero. Happy Mother’s Day to each of you…