A Mosaic of Missing Motherhood (a Poem)

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A Mosaic of Missing Motherhood (a poem)

Written and performed by Jayne Marie Smith

Posted by Sojourners on Friday, May 6, 2022

My motherhood is not seen on TV

It's the tears and talks

behind the signs and the walks

on the evening news.

The postpartum depression

referred to as “baby blues”

And loving another mother’s child

even when they’re rude.

It’s having to be something you never wanted to be.

It's the staying, standing, and stares

behind the label "mama bear"

that ignores all the fears you have to bear.

It's trying to meet your needs

and special needs

And having no paid family medical leave.

It's raising kids in a world you don't understand

with words you don't understand

because you left the familiar to come to this land.

It's nearly dying at childbirth

for a child that has the nerve

to not even look like me.

Just like your picture of motherhood doesn't look like me

It’s not haggard and abused like Hagar

Fragile and high risk, like Elizabeth

Hiding my child from violence like Mama Moses

It’s not impoverished like the widow begging Elisha for providence

Nor dark and foreign like the mother ignored,

begging Christ for her child's deliverance.

My motherhood is nameless - to you.

Yet, the Bible says honor me - too.

But you can't honor

and keep us unseen.

Every missing complexion and condition

from your mosaic of motherhood

Needs to be celebrated

As scripture commands

Honor your …mothers

That your days may go well

and be long in the land.