I Thought of You
by Mari Parker
I held my daughter this morning,Second Place Winner
breathed in the opiate of her scent,
dreamt of days not yet here,
became dizzy with the joy of her being.
I memorized every curve of her face,
touched the down of newness on her cheeks,
and counted, for the thousandth time, her fingers --
one by one.
And while I listened to her breathe and felt her heartbeat
I thought of you, Mom.
I thought of how many times you must have touched my cheek,
kissed my head, let my breath tickle your eyelids.
I thought of the nights you spent calming my fears,
soothing my fevers, and later, worrying about my fate.
I thought of you, Mom, and for the first time in my life,
I think I understand --
the heartaches, the joys, the almost indescribable
overwhelming emotions you must have had
as I moved through life.
Although I've thanked you before, this time it is different.
This time, I thank you the way only another mother can.
This time, I thank you for teaching me to love,
for teaching me to walk tall and stand proud,
for teaching me to sing in the rain and face life head-on.
I thank you, Mom, for everything. But most of all,
I thank you for loving me
through it all.