Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
To the Woman Who Stopped Her Car to Scream at Me at the Bus Stop


May you never know the heartache
of mothering a child with mental illness
the breath-stopping anticipation of the next phone call
the debilitating exhaustion
of fending off her demons
and your own
suicide threats
a rope around the soft flesh of her young neck
eight hours in the psychiatric E.R.

May you never feel the helplessness
of watching your five-year-old refuse to eat
and fail to grow
tiny ribs sharp against paper-thin skin
begging him to take just one bite
scales and growth charts
mocking you with menacing numbers
the specter of a feeding tube
haunting your sleep

May you never find yourself caught
between two impossible choices
a demanding boss
and the child in desperate need
of all you have to give

May you never wake
day after day
with knots of uncertainty gnawing your gut
not knowing
not wanting to know

May you never be on the receiving end
of the scorn you so easily dispense
blissfully unaware
of battles waging all around you

Deborah L. Staunton’s work has appeared in journals and anthologies including, Sheepshead Review, Mothers Always Write, The MacGuffin, Six Hens, The Remembered Arts Journal, Mom Egg Review, Mother’s Milk Books, and Chicken Soup For The Soul. She has written child development materials for Harcourt Learning Direct and her essays “Promises Kept,” “An Owl In Winter,” “Anything Could Happen,” and “Shoes” placed in various writing contests. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two children.

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Deb- You know, feel, find, wake, and be all too well. I hope others find hope and inspiration from your thought-provoking, inspiring, and knowledgeable poems. Thank you for sharing your heart! ❤️❤️❤️ Happy Birthday, my friend!
Love this. Thank you! And Happy Belated Birthday!
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