THERE YOU WERE. Your tiny hands clearly formed, laying on the porcelain. Red rims arranged around you—like a somber, suburban jellyfish.
There he was. A giant, wealthy, orange gas light with a swinging mallet that hung low and hateful between narcissistic legs.
There I was begging on my knees for his help while he scowled in disgust at the desperation he creates in me.
There I was, up the mimosa tree that sheltered me from the insanity. Her branches held me with kind passivity when no other could. The same tree that he chain-sawed to the stump two weeks after I left for college.
I couldn’t carry the weight of all their hopes and dreams and you, my darling, couldn’t even be carried to term.
My heart holds an expansive ridge-visions of what you might have grown to become under my crooked and colorful shadow… and the visions are equally magnificent and terrifying.
And perhaps, like the mimosa frond that has a singular, final, ending-place, it is where and what I am supposed to be.
I think it is enough, right now, that I grow my own branches off this sturdy trunk, give thanks to the root system I fought like hell to nurture as I came to fruition in the shadow of giggling Tickle Deodorant ads and slut shaming.
Here I am. My loving tree inside me now and my one year old darling fast asleep.
- Colleen Joy Miller, an excerpt from Single Mothers Speak on Patriarchy