A Mother’s Reflections On Fear In Trying Times

 In Health, MOM

I’m trying something a little new with this post today. I used to write a lot of poetry in the throes of the angsty years though I’ve never called myself a poet. But I’ve been scribbling things like this, things that feel more poetry than anything else, usually when I’m wrapped up in questions and overwhelming emotion. And lately I think a lot of us have had these conflicts within us as we read the news, or watch our social feeds and we feel helpless. Maybe some of you can relate.

I feel the sadness in the marrow
It walks with me and grasps my daughters’ hands
I see in their eyes a tiny world expanding out beyond
bruised knees, snugly toys and the awe of absolutely
everything laid upon by their blue gaze
I hear their hearts, untouched by devastation that rained down
upon the heads of girls no older than they
Twin angels have lost their mom in Belgian devastation
In Turkey
In Iraq
In the United States
In France
In Syria
In Greece
My bones ache
Muscles contract constantly as I let go of my babies’ hands
hands that play with abandon and it lifts me up, yet
My breath, no matter its depth, catches
at the sight of a stranger, at the message repeated
is safety an illusion
Will their lives be defined by the repercussions of fear
Will I be able to comfort them
Will I have the strength to teach
When I want to carry them to a land untouched by hate


Then comes the quiet
My need to protect them from every horrid thing
Fits neatly along side their lunch box and crayons
And I unfold the strength that carried them
That fed them
That gave them my all in my darkest days
And I wrap it around them
with wishes for sweetest dreams

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Showing 10 comments
  • Claire

    I love poetry for expressing emotions in troubled and confusing times. You’ve really captured something in the image of slotting your fear for them neatly alongside the food and crayons you pack in your children’s schoolbags – really rings true x

  • Walter

    Beautifully written and full of compassion. Loved it!

  • Tamara

    I don’t like the fact that I won’t be able to protect them from the evil, so I guess I’ll have to find a way to teach them about handling it. Not sure how to, though.

    • Tara McLaughlin Giroud

      I guess it’s just the day to day little things we teach them about accepting differences, trusting their instincts, believing in themselves will hopefully help them to find their way in all things.

  • Johanna

    This is beautiful. So many beautiful lines — like Claire, I loved the vision of you packing lunch boxed, crayons and protection. It is so hard to be a mother, sometimes, with a part of yourself out there walking around independently from you. Seems a lot of us are filled with this melancholy of late. <3

    • Tara McLaughlin Giroud

      Thanks Johanna, it can feel really frightening and yet we keep on, don’t we.

  • Liz Voss

    This was wonderful, Tara. I’ve never been able to write poems well (my most successful one in school was about hating poetry), which has led to me not appreciating the genre. I’m starting to get into reading it now, though.

    This one definitely hit home.

    • Tara McLaughlin Giroud

      Thanks Liz, it’s a strange genre for me. I don’t usually relate to the rare bit of poetry I read, but somehow I like to write it from time to time. I’m so glad you took the time to read it and that it connected with you. Thanks 🙂