Single Mother To Son

Single Mother To Son

A Poem by Shelly Bell

Inspired by Langston Hughes' Mother to Son....this is from a modern day single parent standpoint.

standing at a cross road
your tender palm in mine
we squeeze tight
connecting eyes 
see fear
my ability to step forward is limited when
you ask, but "ma, how do I become a man"
my answers have stopped here.
I am one soul playing the part of two
it's no longer an illusion

I can't pretend that paying bills
makes me understand how to be a man.
being a wife doesn't even fit into my life 
my daily responsibility require me to be 
open minded
heart tender from carrying
the weight of two instincts 

a woman raising a man is just as hard
as everyone thinks.
I thought teaching you to "pee"
standing up was tough
but lessons you must learn
for your masculinity 
makes me as a woman
not good enough

ill equipped for the next step
in this trip.
I've been successful in training you to learn
teaching you manners,
and knowledge of your own divinity.

for the life of me
I wish superman's phone booth
could turn me into that super man for a day or two
I single handedly handling perception.
I have always been the father for you.
but my Lois Clark birthright is kryptonite in this matter

I have to figure this thing out.
my backbone strong as tree trunks
you branch out in the breeze
I want to keep you from falling
from me

I admit I'm scared
I'm stalling on the support 
I know you need
because it hurts me to believe that
I don't have it in me. 
as super a woman as I am
I cannot represent the idea of a father 
when I'm not

My son...
I'm trying my best to raise you alone
but my femininity is my enemy
maybe I should have stayed
maybe my selfish view of 
wanting greater for you
makes everything my fault

I can't identify with being fatherless
but your sad expressions
signify hopelessness 
and that....
I am all too familiar with. 

You are my gift and maybe 
I didn't treat you like a present.
feeling like my arial view is causing 
your bird's eye view to perish.
I just don't get it.

I moved forward with life
I don't regret it.

Copyright 2010 Shelly Bell

© 2010 Shelly Bell

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Added on May 21, 2010
Last Updated on May 21, 2010


Shelly Bell
Shelly Bell

Alexandria, VA

To merely refer to North Carolina native and Alexandria, VA resident Shelly Bell as a curious and talented consumer of life’s most positive energies would only tell half of the story. An award-w.. more..

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A Poem by Shelly Bell