When the children came, “thrill” left
Replaced by care and caution and love’s breadth
Not always safe: the pursuit of safe.
Lots may die in the wake of hesitate.
But ah! That is not all there is.
Before them wonder was a largely private (selfish) affair
After them – with them, because of them – I am expanded
Expanded in delight not just my own, but in delight in theirs
What a gift! What a gift to be enlarged
And stretched beyond my own thin skin
These trenches and crumbs are not beneath me
These are where the real life is – the full life is
Forced outward love stretches all my womanhood
– anyone’s personhood through parenthood –
Battle waged I am forced to reckon with these, with me
To find that my self’s death is the truest liberty
To be present and free from my own way:
(Not just in order to indulge another’s whim)
– But to provide what’s needed –
This is liberation: realizing wholly the love within.
So to find I’ve grown – and am willing more still –
Becomes the delight of sacrifice – true love’s thrill
To find that before I gloried in the small
I’d venture I knew Glory not at all.