The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

I felt her sigh the other night and grieved her pain of burden.
The dreamer whom she’d sheltered now bred offspring disconcerting.

She’d guard her sudsy wishing well with rubber gloves allied.
And kitchened well her caffein keepsake, ”World’s Best Mom!” She’d tried.

On ballroom floor of no-wax sheen she swirled in gay charade
While broadcast beacon amplified the Oldies Hit Parade.           

Potholder certificates hung stained respectfully,
Acknowledging her Servinomics subsidised degree.

Diploma drained investitures; Beatitudes embraced;
Her marketed annuities declined at shopcart pace.

Disposable; reusable; vacuumed frivolity;
While dust removal merged as the high priority.

Assimilated menus for a stay-press family
Collender creations stirred with prime-time pot-pourri.

With words they’d slapped her countainance. 
Their mentor they’d unshrined.
Emotional upheavel stirred their false-start state of mind.

“How can she stand it here all day? Suburbia retreat.”
She’d fostered flesh and harbored hearts and savored souls so sweet.

Sophistocated yearnings of a contemplative muse,
She loved being needed; justified being used.

Evaporated ego in an innovative stride,
The tear stung as it pierced beneath the pity of her pride.

She heard the car approaching, 
Flung her tissues in the drawer.
“Dear God, Ya’ know I love them!” 
Then she hastened t’ward the door.  

Jody Walker

When I was growing up, I developed a very close relationship with a woman my mom’s age, who lived in our neighborhood. One day when I was about eight years old, I stopped by for a visit and though the door was open, she didn’t answer my calls. I saw no one in the kitchen so I walked into the living room, stopping suddenly upon hearing her crying. She was somewhere upstairs and I knew something was terribly wrong. I ran home to tell Mom, who went to check on our friend. When she returned, she told me that the lady had fallen down the steps and that she was going to be all right. Later I overheard my mom and my aunt referring to our neighbor as suffering from depression. I had no idea what that was but it hurt to know of this dear woman’s sadness. 

“The Hand that Rocked the Cradle” was written as a way of describing how sorrow can easily slip into a mother’s heart. We seem to get the “roots” part of parenting more easily than the “wings”. My neighbor was having trouble letting go of her children. I wish I had known about the poetry of Kahil Gibran at that time. I would have read his poem about children to her.  Later, when the grandchildren arrived, my neighbor felt needed again and loved.