The Threads that Bind Us

in poetry •  last year

The silver needle finally acquiesced to the probing black thread.
Do all parents go through this?, I ask myself.
The object of today's battleground lies crumpled upon my lap;
A day-old winter jacket already looking shabby,
Scarred through carelessness. Squinting at black fabric,
I concentrate on repairing the gaping, saw toothed pocket.

What had been a pleasant enough day was now marred
By the blazing argument between mother and son.
Falling tears catch the lamplight, rolling then
Splash landing on shiny dampened material.
We no longer share laughter, just angry words it seems.
I pause mid-stitch, an awful thought striking me...
Does he hate me?


It doesn't seem so long ago that he was a happy soul
Before hormones and homework engulfed him.
The battle had ended hours ago in slamming doors
Only to be replaced with a thick, sullen silence
Seeping from his usually noisy room,
Cloaking the very air that I breathed.

A soft knock announced his arrival. He slips quietly into the room.
For the briefest second, I marvel at this awkward man-boy
Almost filling the door frame. I daren't raise my head too high.
He shall not witness my tears, not now, not ever.
Never show weakness in battle, even if you feel it.

He shuffles his feet. I gather myself in readiness for round two.

"Yes?" I say stiffly. "Sorry, Mum..." he mutters,
Leaning forward quickly to kiss the top of my bent head.
I am so stunned that I cannot respond immediately
Nor even realise that it would be too late anyway.
He's retreated already to his own domain.

Then a funny thing happened.

In amongst all the confusion,
In that single gloriously precious moment,
I know suddenly-I know- that no matter what,
No matter how many times we fight and argue,
We still, and always will, have love.

A torn pocket I can replace.
My son, I cannot.

Hope you enjoyed it! I wrote this several years ago. It makes me smile to read it now the man-boy's all grown up. This did happen. That's why I wanted to capture it then. :)

(image source 1 and image source 2)

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