A poem for Mama

Thank you mama

 Thank you for 18 years of food

And 5,000 glasses of water

Thank you for driving 40 minutes to pick me up when I was too scared to spend the night. Twice.

Thank you for the car

And the phone

Thank you for building my bones

Thank you for carrying me for 9 months

I know that two hearts are much heavier than one

And even after 20 years technically alone, your heart is still my home



Thank you for never ever yelling at me except that one time when we were going to move to Berkeley

And then I deserved it

Thank you for letting me wear sweatpants as long as I wanted

And taking me to buy jeans the day I didn't

Thank you for giving me space to fall

And always being there to put bandaids on my bruises


Thank you for teaching me that it's ok to cry

Thank you for the art supplies


Thank you mama

For raising me to walk in the woods with my face turned toward the sky

Thank you for teaching me the name of every plant we passed

And for showing me not to be afraid of the night


Thank you for teaching me the benefit of staying still and watching the world with my soul wide open

Thank you for not letting me quit


Even though after 3 years of violin lessons I really felt like it


After all that time I'm glad I could play those strings I'm glad you taught me the meaning of things like geography. And kindness


And how I should always bring a water bottle and a sweater just in case it gets cold


And I hope you know in my eyes you will never be old.


And I don't know how you always know things so well

Like where the yogurt is in the fridge


And when I ask "mom what was the name of the plant with little pink flowers and soft leaves like lily pads that I would sometimes paint and make into prints?"

You know it's geranium


Or when I say "hey mama what was the plant with the little vine twists that would pop open sometimes if you touched them?"

You answer "impatiens"


You always know what the right answer is


And mama, I know this is not a lanyard and I know that I owe you more than I could ever pay back


So thank you for giving me all that I have.

Thank you for holding me all the times I've been really really sad


And even though sometimes you don't answer your phone I know that I'll never be truly alone

You'll always call back


You'll always be there to teach me how to tie bows around my knee and lift me up to the places I can't reach


Thanks for always being you,


And thanks for making me