Saguaro, a poem about parenting teens

by janeeatonhamilton

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Saguaro

 

My little thorn

you have grown on a thicker stalk

than I expected.

Sharper

than I ever guessed you might.

 

You hurt me.

Nothing is as simple as that.

I hurt you too?

 

There are lotteries.

Your unlucky numbers tumble through

a bin of teenage years.

I never meant

to speak and so offend you,

to be a mother

to cringe from

and yet you say I am.

 

I remember before breasts and boys.

We were happy.

We lay together

in a moon crater,

swaddled and safe and bouncing.

Tall branched thistle

you were my baby,

my sweet girl,

the coup of all my days.

 

I am no longer

Precisely human in your eyes,

hardly divine,

only old and big.

You come to me with scorn

that rubs like sandpaper.

 

The trick is

to bear this jagged war

like labour.

The trick is to wear

protective gloves.