Fathom Mag

Prosperity Parenting

A poem

Published on:
April 13, 2020
Read time:
1 min.
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Circle all that apply:
They must have done something right,
because their children are so
(accomplished, upstanding, godly).
By this measure, I have failed
beyond measure.
Because when her text dings,
        I love you
I see behind the words a long tangled story
of disordered loves
and lovers that gave what was not love
and took and broke and bruised
and my love did not, could not
protect her.
Because when he hurls pain-words       
Your love will not be enough to stop me 
I reject the grim truth
but then we find his body
and shovel dirt into a grave
and carry grief like coarse gravel
and memories like fine dust
and no...
my love was never enough.
Because when he whispers,
       I love you, Mom 
I treasure the words, but feel
a tender broken-winged pain
sob through his man-child embrace
and I wish, oh I wish that
my love could mend everything.
We finish our mother-son dance
to the country rhythms of
“She loves me like Jesus does”
and we weep.
Because love in our family
was never a ribbon you could wrap us in
with a tidy, did-something-right bow.
Love in our family is bits of string
frayed, knotted,
just strong enough
to bind our wounds,
to hold us together.

Charis Crandall
Charis Crandall lives in Wembley, Alberta, Canada with her husband, Dean, and teaches high school English in another community several farms down the road. An outdoor enthusiast, she particularly loves mountains and marshes. She marvels at the gentleness of grace in both the ordinary and hard places of life. Charis writes from time to time at charisc.com and can be found on Twitter @CharisCrandall.

Cover image by Nick Wood on Unsplash

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