Again, The Things I Didn’t Know

Remember when I wrote this?

Well, months later, I decided I would take it, revamp it and then enter it into a poetry contest. I worked hard to make it better, to fill it with all I had learned since I originally wrote the first. It was good, damn good. So good in fact that I have yet to read it again, since I wrote it last.

Why? Because it hurts me. It pains me and pulls at those dark places that only a mother who has relinquished truly has and understands.

In the end, I didn’t win anything for it, so instead, I’ll proudly share it here, because it means a lot to me.


The Things I Didn’t Know


I didn’t know that my heart would swell,
that it would grow and pull you in forever,
the first time I laid eyes on you.
I didn’t know that my heart would shatter relentlessly,
even in just a single moment.
That my heart could break in the same place,
over and over,
so many years later.
I didn’t know that you would ignite my soul, and bring me to life
in the moments you were born.
With that power remaining, reminding me, time and time again.
As if you live within me, silently.
I didn’t know know that I would never let you go,
that I would never “get over you”.
They said I would. That I should.
I longed to, I wanted to forget this pain.
The pain of losing you.
But I never will.
I knew you would grow, grow from a baby to a boy.
Into a man.
I didn’t know I would want to see it all.
Witness the beauty of your life, even in minute ways.
I didn’t know I would long to hear your tiny voice, and see your sweet smile.
That I would dream of seeing your eyes light up with interest in life.
That I would wish to know what your tears tasted like,
when I would have kissed your cheek, comforting you.
I didn’t know I would crave the warmth of your skin, or
the soft smell of your hair.
They didn’t tell me that I would ache in parts of my soul
places I didn’t know existed.
The depth of loss I would be introduced to,
remained unspoken, passed behind their backs, quietly.
I didn’t know how much I would miss you,
How I would miss you every day, even in the smallest ways.
How much I would love you then.
How much I would love you now.
I thought my love would fade,
not grow in the shadow of your absence.
They said it would. That it should.
Except, it hasn’t.
I had no idea that you truly belonged to me,
that you were mine.
I couldn’t see my rights as they danced around me
with their manipulations, and demands on us.
You were always mine,
even when they said you belonged to them.
When I thought you belonged to them.
I didn’t realize my rights.
Our rights, until it was too late.
That I could have asked for more.
That I should have asked for more.
More time. More space. More you.
I didn’t know how desperately I would wish that you knew who I was,
for real.
That I would long to be more than a stranger in a photo.
Only a familiar stranger to you.
I had no idea what birth was like, that it would change me,
as a woman. That it would connect me to you,
grounding me to you without evidence.
I had no idea that the loss of our future as mother and son
would permeate my soul, forever.
I didn’t know that my body would remember you,
Haunting me with the possibilities of what could have been.
I had no idea, because no one told me.
I didn’t know that my body would remember you,
that I would be changed entirely.
I had no idea, because,
they didn’t think to tell me about the things
I didn’t know


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