I wrote my first poem in decades

I wrote a poem during last week’s class of my Narrative Writing Program at BU. I have written about this program before. I took this class for BU faculty because I wanted support in writing my book, NOT because I ever wanted to write a poem. When I learned that the topic that day was poetry, I almost skipped class. I am not usually drawn to poetry. After the instructor introduced the agenda for the class, and she said that she would first talk about writing poems and then said we would be given 6 minutes to write a poem, I was uncertain. I don’t recall the last time I wrote a poem. It had to have been decades ago, back when I was forced to do so in school. I sure never voluntarily wrote a poem before. It just wasn’t my style.

But to my surprise, the poem just flowed out of me, I guess because of what I’m processing right now in my life, last week especially, with my family’s decision that my child needs to be hospitalized for his eating disorder.

A flood of emotions washes over me

I’m drowning in my helplessness

My child will not eat

What kind of a mother am I 

If my child will not eat

He is starving himself

He feels helpless too


And so he controls the only thing he thinks he can

Restricting what goes into his mouth

Restricting what comes out of his mouth

His throat is blocked in both directions

What kind of a mother am I

For this to happen to my child

My throat feels tight

When I try to speak about it

If I open my throat

Will he open his too

If I nourish myself better

Will he allow me to nourish him as well

I don’t know

The future is uncertain


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