Always a Mother

Living Sea by Linda Roe

Living Sea by Linda Roe

No matter what I do, I am a mother.
No progeny required to lavish love
on my endeavours, whether I am raising
eyebrows, the bar, tomatoes, or even a child
from my womb, or yours, or hers. It is fine work
to knead life’s pliant dough, watch it growing

round, fueled by the yeast of intention. Growing
babies is a singular task. It suggests a mother
who feeds on demand, changes on need, her work
the main melody with measures of sleep. Love
invested, deposited with such interest in a child
whose future return is not guaranteed, raising

high-risk market uncertainty. I’m all for raising
Cain occasionally, but I’m more interested in growing
peace, inside and out, sinking deep roots, harvesting child
plants which grow on their own, separate from the mother.
I find comfort in the notion that beyond death, our love
lives on, though I don’t comprehend what makes it work.

Taxes, family, life–everything is a work
in progress. Some days I feel so mortal, raising
the possibility that I may run out of love
before it’s all done. Lately I’ve had this growing
sense that it doesn’t matter. I am an expectant mother
who treats each day as a precious new child.

My plans are derailed daily by the arrival of said child
pretending to be a problem. This is my work:
to look deeply beyond illusion until I spy the mother
lode of golden opportunity. Raising
consciousness seems a sure-fire way to keep growing.
Even the Beatles told us all we need is love.

This being alive is a great labour of love.
How can I be more gentle, treat myself like a child
who is, despite my age, still learning, still growing
into my womanness? Take note–this is NOT paid work.
I’m a volunteer player who’ll soon be raising
the ante with the hand I’ve been dealt. Holy Mother!

Who wouldn’t love to say that it will all work
out? This innocent and wounded child I’m raising
inside will keep growing, and I’m always her mother.

About Karen Runge

Karen Runge has been writing for most of her life—from homework and letters to computer programs and innumerable inspirations that keep getting waylaid. During the past several years she resurrected an interest in poetry and began crafting short stories. When not word sculpting or capturing the beauty of Nova Scotia's South Shore with her camera, Karen raises Entlebucher Mountain Dogs.

About Linda Roe

Born in Manitoba, Linda's artistic career began in Ontario painting full stage theatrical backdrops for which she gained public recognition. Her accolades included a Central Ontario Festival award; THEA awards (given by the Association of Community Theatres of Ontario); and two Arts Council of Halton Hills awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Community. Linda has created work in numerous media, including: encaustic (painting with beeswax), needle felting, acrylic, oil, watercolour, pastel and gouache. She has also worked with stained glass and traditional rug hooking. Her style is eclectic, varying from realism to impressionism to folk. Linda has had paintings accepted in many juried shows including shows in Burlington, Oakville, Waterloo, London and Welland in Ontario, as well as in Nova Scotia. In addition to numerous solo and joint art exhibitions, a large exhibit of her work has been displayed in Japan. One of her paintings hangs in the Ontario Legislative Library in Queens Park, Toronto. Linda is a member of the Lunenburg Art Gallery and Visual Arts Nova Scotia. She teaches art in her home studio and has classes in Chester. Examples of her work can be seen on her website.

2 thoughts on “Always a Mother

  1. Janet Barkhouse

    It’s great to read this here, Karen – now I have a copy.

  2. cheryl lamerson

    I am so honoured to know both of these women and to have a chance to see their stellar work. Thank you for sharing.


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