what it means to be a mother
Last night I dreamed
my son was drowning
and I couldn’t save him.
His buoyancy held him
pressed to the roof of a play-space tube
submerged inside a pool.
Adrenaline from loins to limb
seared every inch of me
into battle-ready she-beast.
Gasping as I surfaced from my dream
I thundered in the darkness
to his room.
Sodden-sensed and short of breath
I placed both shaking hands upon his chest.
My heart was beating twice as fast as his.
The weight of fathoms pressed against my head
till my legs folded
and I knelt beside by his bed.
I watched his ribcage fall and lift.
My eyes, night-creature crisp,
measured every breath.
At last assuaged, I left.
Every bit of fight was stripped from me.
Another episode of training was complete.
I reclined with feet and fingers tingling,
my breath still laced with aftertastes of chlorine
and of death.
Summer is coming
and we live by a lake.
Soon we’ll all be swimming.
Every Spring I dream
of my kids drowning.
This is what it means to be a mother.
Carrie Danaher Hoyt is a lifelong lover & writer of poetry. She lives in Massachusetts where she is a wife and mother of three school-aged kids; she also works as an estate planning attorney. Carrie has poems in The Cabinet of Heed, Amethyst Review, The Pangolin Review, Twitterization Nation, thegreenlightjournal.com & forthcoming in Anti-Heroin Chic. She is also very proud to have a poem in Isabelle Kenyon's poetry collaboration titled, "Please Hear What I'm Not Saying," the proceeds of which go to raise awareness of and support for mental health. You can find Carrie on Twitter @CDanaherH.