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2022 - A Mother's Love Poetry Contest Winners

Wild Things by Devon Ortega



The house is always a cacophony of joyful boy-shrieks

and a lifetime of mommy's repeated on loop. Business hours

run from six am to eight pm. Also at two am. Sometimes five.

You are always on PRN. It seems you will never not be needed.


The orchestra of crying swells and falls, crescendo after crescendo

of weeping over something, or several somethings. Crying 

over getting nothing or not getting enough. Crying 

over being hit or being told you are no longer allowed to hit.


These children are noise makers. They put every ounce of themselves

into each thudding step. The rabble of them through the house,

one following the other, ready to pounce like lion cubs.

They roar and tear at their clothing, rip off their diapers.


They dance naked on the back porch. They pee on things they shouldn't

and then have the audacity to say, "Eww!" and point at destroyed

or soiled areas that they essentially have signed like artwork;

their names scrawled across my couch in urine. 


Sometimes I want to scream, too. Add my noise to the ocean,

add some gnashing teeth and bitterness. It's hard sometimes.

But children are so soft. I try to not let my words leave impressions.

In those moments I try to let my heart do the talking. I fail often. 


Other times, I laugh. Sometimes, their destructions tickles me.  I laugh 

because every terrible cry, every "Mommy," every whine, is a precursor 

to the moment when I wake up to a clean and empty house, 

haunted by a dreadful silence that won't go away.


And I tread the water there, between losing my mind

and losing my precious children as they sail across terrible seas

to adventures I could never dream of. In my dreams, there's a home 

they want to come back to. A place where someone loves them best.

It Started With You by Kaitlyn Darby


Before I held your hands
I housed your heart inside my body
just below my own
A vessel for your becoming,
together we grew
until our Earth side union

And in that first connecting moment by skin,
with your chest melting softly into mine
my heart, now resting beneath you,
swelled to carry a devotion that size cannot depict,
my soul had never felt,
and can only be described as magic

Each day as you continue to evolve
into all that you are meant to be,
I become new in the way I see
bigger in the way I love
bolder in the way I choose
and louder in the rooms I stand

In the light of your being,
I found a strength I was once
convinced was out of reach
And as my life became engulfed
in the limitless love I feel for you,
I have learned to love me too

In between the endless tears,
the body feedings, and sleep that never came,
a past version of myself was ripped from
my core that I no longer needed
and I was forced to face a new
chapter and rebuild from the inside out

Now, staring back at myself
I see a human I love tenderly
who once carried a life inside her
and now selflessly dedicates her world to
I see a monument of resilience
and a vase full of blooms

When I look at you,
I see a constellation full of gifts
A heart bigger than your body,
with the power to heal the pain around you
without even trying
Already a creative in your own divine ways,
you paint kindness on to everything you
hold in your presence
In your smile I find my highest joy

And in your hugs, I somehow feel small

- It started with you

Cool Aid by E. Joyce Moore



It was eleven o’clock

The heat of the night

Was so thick and heavy

That you could lay on it like a blanket.

Not a single breeze begged to move the air.

Me ‘n Ann we laid there in the dark

‘til Momma came and got us

She turned on the water hose

and sprayed

as we danced around the front yard

the night giving privacy to our joy

She made orange koolaid

beat the ice into tiny shards

and poured it into my favorite jelly jar.

One of my favorite memories.

I didn’t know that she had walked the streets that day -- crying.

Trying to figure out where our next meal was coming from.

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