Author Archives: Karen Runge

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.

Always a Mother

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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.