An Ode to the Women Who Raised Me


It’s commonly believed
That men are stronger
Than women.
They can build houses
And fix bikes
And change oil
But I’ve never seen
A man
Carry two toddlers
And an infant
And the groceries
While making an
Appointment for their
Teenage daughter.

With the weight of
“What’s for dinner?”
and “Mommy I have a boo boo!”
Potty training
Put the toys away
Clean the fridge
Put the toys away
Make dinner
Put the toys away
Clean up from dinner,

With the weight of
college planning
Dealing with
Aging parents
Put the toys away
Renting out their body
And most of their
Essential nutrients for
Nine months at a time,
Then never miss a beat
When they’re seemingly
Finally free.

They accept a Valentine’s Day
Bouquet of a dozen roses
In place of an apology
Or a thank-you
For late husbands
And extended work hours,
Lonely mornings making
Pots of coffee
For themselves
The smell of alcohol
Masking the smell
Of a long day
Of work,
And accept the notion
That they’re lucky
Because they get to
Stay home with
The kids.

And I’ve never seen
A man
Mask so much weight
With a swipe
Of lipstick.


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