Love in the Time of Corona, or a Possible Good-bye Poem for My Daughter

For Micaiah

3/26/2020

 

You probably don’t remember this:

One day we were joking in the car after school.

You said something about being a mistake.

I corrected you.

 

“I got pregnant by accident,” I told you.

“What’s the difference?” you asked me.

“Accidents can be happy &

You are my happiest.”

 

Oh, my sweet girl –

 

There has never been one second

Since the doctor told me you were coming

That my arms haven’t ached to hold you

& hold you & hold you &

Keep you with me –

 

My eyes locked on your perfect little face.

 

There is nothing you have ever done

That has dimmed how miraculous

You are to me –

 

How someone as me as me could birth

Someone as you as you is just evidence

For me

That God is real.

 

God put you here on purpose,

Little One.

 

You are so deeply special –

So brilliant & complicated,

So gifted & goofy,

So sweet & strong –

 

Just know that any time

I growled & showed my teeth to you

It was to scare you off something

That was bigger & meaner –

Something that would lunge & bite.

 

My purest, truest hope is that

We have years & years more to

Be together –

 

But if we do not –

If this virus chokes off our time –

 

Please –

 

Remember this:

 

My love for you is an ocean –

 

You could never have gotten to its bottom –

 

No matter how madly you swam or sadly you sank.

 

You never have (had) to work for my love.

All you ever have (had) to do is be my daughter.

 

You are my daughter.

You are my only daughter.

You are the only person I have ever loved this much, this way –

 

& when I am gone

All you have to do for me is

Love yourself like

I love you.

 

You can forget everything about me

If you want –

If you need –

Except all the things I did to

Make you smile.

8 thoughts on “Love in the Time of Corona, or a Possible Good-bye Poem for My Daughter”

  1. It was God sending a message of my mom through you. I have having such a difficult time right now in my life. The fear I feel everyday is exhausting with the covid 19, I am almost to the point of bankrupcy, and I am frequently food insecure. God knows I am so tired. Thank you for a lovely message. God bless…..

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  2. I just read this again and wanted to leave you a note, even though I also wrote a blog post featuring this poem. It’s truly sweet and beautiful and poignant . . . and brings tears to my eyes. Although I’m not a mother (clearly) and can’t fully empathize with a mother’s love for her child, and although my children are both adopted from China, I can’t imagine my love for them being any deeper than it is. I am also pained by the knowledge that I was 55 and 59 when we adopted them and am nearly 73 now. They’re still teenagers and, even before this pandemic struck, I grieved for them, knowing they would almost certainly lose me long before they should. They don’t deserve that, having already lost two families when they were toddlers. COVID-19 has only exacerbated that unease and your poem is like a velvet backhand.

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