However Many Ways? By Ruth Nunn
Love? Truly love you? Do I love you?
Of course, of course! Yes of course I do!
How can you face me brazenly so?
Shameless you stare, and you tell me “No!”
“I do,” my heart within me implores,
My very essence in silence roars,
“Undoubtedly so!” my core insists,
And without one word, in anguish lists
A silent, painful, record of times
I’ve excused your childish, thoughtless crimes,
Or held you safely within my arms
Both from mortal and emotional harms.
How many times have I born your rants?
And how many times cleaned dirty pants?
Or how many times prepared your lunch,
Then sat there to sweet-talk, “Just one munch”?
When have I pleaded, “School soon. Hurry!”
And worked myself up to a flurry?
Or when repented to teachers who
Don’t understand the loss of your shoe?
Many a time in the depths of night,
I’ve snuggled amongst my blankets tight,
Abruptly woke to your frightened scream.
“Mum, there’s a noise!”, “a spider” or “dream”.
Tired still, I’ve lifted my head,
And swung weary legs round out of bed.
I’ve run to your room, exhausted, worn,
Allaying fears well into the morn.
Shopping, once, on a regular trip,
I carried you round, sat on my hip,
Only one hand to push the trolley,
Juggle with tins, nappies and brolly
Then “Mum,” you told me, “I’m feeling ill.”
Nauseous groans as your gob did fill
And repugnant puke whelched in a tide
All of the way down my left hand side.
“A story Mum,” you’ve so often pled.
How many books have I bought and read?
How many times have I funded your play?
How many cakes have I made for your day?
Yet still you claim that I love you not.
“My friends,” you tell me, “have such a lot.”
“I want what they’ve got,” I hear you cry.
“Why can’t I have it? I want it. Why?”
I listen, allay my inner pain
When I’m sure you’ll need me soon again,
When your knee bleeds, or you simply tire,
Arms held towards me once more require
Caring hugs from this loving mother,
My cuddles, comforts, like no other.
You’ll look towards me, wordlessly say,
“Thanks” in that simple, juvenile way.