June 25, 2010

in Confessions,Lifestyle

*This poem was written about Susan Smith. The prompt this week from Big Tent Poetry was to write about something you didn’t think you could write about.  I really wanted to explore the unthinkable. This story, and others where mother’s have hurt or killed their own children, has bothered me for a long time.

I love them as a deep sleep
unconsciously, unwaiveringly
and without regret.

I feel the suffering of
those two boys, so like my own
strapped in car seats
yelling, “Mommy! Mommy!”

Even from a deep sleep
I wake to those cries
and slink from the comfort of bed
down the dark hall to
refill a sippy cup
read a book at 4am
kiss a feverish forehead
snuggle in a too small bed.

Yet she stood there and watched.
Listened to their cries.
Did nothing but lie.

I lie too.
I tell my sons
monsters aren’t real.

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mark June 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm

well done. It is a puzzling thing to know a Mother could do that to her own children.

carolee June 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm

i like the contrast of the tone of the kids’ cries — mommy! mommy! — and the responses of the mothers. in a short piece, you’ve created quite a lot of tension and drama!

Diane T June 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Undoubtedly, says she who also raised 2 sons, they deserved what they got, LOL.

Elizabeth June 25, 2010 at 7:55 pm

You did a great job on a hard write, and a harder read. I was thinking that I couldn’t even begin, yet knew the moment you woke with those cries, you would head down the hall to your own children’s beds. Thank you for this one.


Tumblewords June 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I, too, cannot imagine. You’ve written this so well but I’m particularly fond of the final stanza.

beth June 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I especially love the first and third stanzas, where you do such a great job of telling us just a little about your love for your kids, then showing us that love. Interesting to have such beauty in a poem about such a tragedy.

Cynthia Short June 27, 2010 at 1:31 pm

This piece was very painful to read, which means you did a very good job with this horrible tragedy. Still today, when I think of Susan Smith, I hope she is suffering tremendous pain. I can find no forgiveness there.

Melissa August 20, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Paying it forward from BlogFrog! I love your blog! This particular post gave me chills…you did a great job. It makes me sick to my stomach to even think about how these mothers could hurt their children. Makes me cry and want to go pick up my sleeping baby and hold her tight! I would hurt anyone who hurt HER!

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