the wonder of a mother

Stop. Drop. Write for five minutes.


All on one word: Comfort


Look how her chin rests on the top of my  head. So tender, so intimate. I wasn’t one yet. Born into the heart of Zululand and mangoes and the clicks and lore and ceremonies of Shaka and his Zulus. My dad loved that land with his bones and brought his new wife out for his medical fellowship. Under the mango trees and barefoot, I grew up.

I can almost feel the imprint of her palm on my chest. Right here below my heart. I’m only almost holding onto her thumb. She with the dark hair and glasses and cupping me in her lap and her life. Old photos can sing a love song. This one comes from a book weathered with glue that certainly wasn’t acid free and layers of looped blue handwriting that peels back my memory to a time and a place I’ve only lived in via somebody else’s story.

I can feel her chin on my head.

I am held.

I want to be.

Girls never outgrow their mothers, do they?

I hold Zoe on my lap and in my memory and it’s like I’ve climbed into this photograph and found my way back into the circle of her arms.