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A Natural Mother

By @MeaningfulMee

A Natural Mother

When I was two, 

I held my baby dolls right.

I had their heads propped up.

Supported the neck.

I fed them with plastic bottles,

And not once,

Did I forget to burp them after. 

I rubbed their rubber hands, 

When I put them down for a nap.

Kissed their foreheads,

Goodnight.

Some might say, 

I was a natural mother.

When I was nine,

My biggest fear was not,

Things that went bump in the night,

It was a miscarriage.

Carrying that bundle of joy to the finishing line,

But before hitting the ribbon,

Falling down,

Down.

Down.

Then when you get up,

The bundle is gone.

Nowhere to be found.

The idea of being so close but so far away,

It petrified me.

When I was ten,

Zoe was born.

My very own little cousin.

This bundle of joy,

That I loved so dearly,

Unconditionally.

I knew at that moment, 

That this,

This was exactly what I wanted.

When I was twelve,

On a school tour.

I carried a seven-year-old,

Around an assault course,

On my own two shoulders.

Her team,

They left her behind.

So let’s just say when I was all done,

I gave the leader a piece of my mind.

By thirteen,

Fourteen.

The phrase,

It followed me,

Like a flower to the sun.

Zoe grew attached to me.

I grew attached to her.

Looked up to me.

I became Tillie.

Don’t ask me how.

Battle wounds.

Lost an earring hole,

Letting her play with my hoops,

Cos it all got a little too much,

Outside.

Antibiotics, 

For the swelling and infection.

And somehow none of it mattered to me.

Cos for those few moments,

Zoe,

She was happy.

Became the mammy,

Of my friend groups.

Always there,

A shoulder to cry on.

Ready and waiting,

To beat the **** outta any lad that brokes my girl’s heart.

But life doesn’t always follow your soul.

You see,

I started to notice.

How the months were getting longer,

A lot longer.

How code red became,

A rare event.

How it as always late.

Then. 

Then not at all. 

Sitting in doctors offices,

Being told this or that could be it.

Jealous of every girl,

Who just got it.

I did blood tests,

And therapy.

Tested their theories,

Anxiety or P.C.O.S

The words they flowed in my head.

Constantly hearing my friends tell me how they wished,

Their cramps would stop.

Or

Looking over at tired mothers on the bus,

Craving everything they got.

Although my of fertility remained a mystery.

Still, 

they said,

There’s still a chance.

And I know that they were probably right.

That I should just live for now.

That somehow,

It would all work out in the end. 

But when your whole life has revolved around,

putting a bun in the oven.

The simple thought.

The prospect,

Is provoking. 

Heartbroken.

I tried to clinch onto meaning,

Find the light.

But all I could find was shattered glass.

Shattered glass from a family photo frame.

A candle, 

Without a match in sight.

I pretend to be glad that my stomach wasn’t in knots,

Every month.

Laughed it off.

Then cried over the list of baby names.

The one I was compiling,

Since I was eight.

Then I remembered,

Us natural mothers.

We don’t give up that easily.

So I picked up my head,

I looked around at what I had.

Then I picked up the shard of shattered glass.

Amid it at the sun.

And the rays,

Well, they,

 lit the candle.

I realised that,

Your reality is only a tragedy,

 until you decide to make it a success story.

I started to care again.

Put in the work now.

Cos if I can make a home out of love.

Just love.

Find my feet.

Make a home that is stable and secure.

Avoid a criminal record,

At all costs.

Then,

If my body decides to stay defiant,

I will be an irresistible client.

They say blood is thicker than water.

But if there is one thing I know,

Love can conquer both.

And I can take the place,

Of the mothers who couldn’t.

Who need a helping hand. 

And if I turn old and grey,

All alone.

That if my optimism is miss placed.

I want to be able to say that I tried,

Everything. 

And if I succeed. 

To the star in the night sky,

That will someday be mine.

I want you to know,

That, 

However,

 you may come,

Through blood or from the smoke of a fire.

I want you to know,

That. 

I have loved you for all of my life.

Seriously,

Your very own natural mother.  

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