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Poetry Pleases: A Mother's Poem

Sylvia West wrote this poem late on Christmas Day, a suitable time to consider the hardest task which every parent faces - letting go of their children.

If you can have your kids and let them grow,
And see them come, and hug, and quickly go,
So glad to get away and be themselves again,
They’ve done their bit and said their piece
And smiled at you with eyes that show
They do remember who you are and why you care.
So long ago you held their hands
And washed their tears away and tried
To reassure and make them strong. If you can see
That they are whole and free, and can survive,
And have no need to stay at home, then
You have given them a life.
You have, you know; do not pretend that
You have failed: they may not say
“I love you”, but you can say “Who does?”
They may not ask you how you are,
And you can say again “Who does?”
Look with care and eyes of love
And you will see that underneath the dust and grime
Of growing lives, the gleam of small success,
Your children are your children still; they have not gone.
If you can talk and hear them speak, and listen
To the undertow, the hidden currents flowing there,
And know what even they don’t know,
Then you can say “I did not fail, my kids have grown. I can let go.”

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