How did I do it back then? Motherhood,
four children under five, sunlight and clothes pins,
three in diapers. There was no me, back then,
only them, and time divided by sleep and feeding,
books and songs, crying and vomiting, and drool,
I ached for me back then, lost in the needs of others,
weeks and months of cycling, waiting, pushing, birthing.  

How I wished for this time to think, to write
about the tangerine of morning, to absorb sway of trees,
to ponder the raindrop, and its spirals and reflections
shimmering, let-down of  memory, nourishing self.   

Now, four grandchildren and my back aches,
don’t know how I did it back then, I feel in my bones,
but I walk this baby til his milky lips slack and I give him back.
Oh, the soft curls against cheek, tiny fists clutching skin,
and softness sinking into arms, asleep, again.