Hand prints on craft paper
and where have my children gone?
Too soon they walked, they talked,
they found their balance
and the world.
Swept up in school, the games,
the rules, the after-class activities
until the family nucleus was ruined
or so it seemed.
They come back to me in phone calls,
pictures of their babies, tales of skinned
knees and newly fledged and broken hearts.
I laid my hand into the slippery paint of time,
pressed it hard against this paper heart
that beats and flows in these
that make me Mother.