The first thing to go was his dependence.
“No, Mom, I’ve packed my own lunch. Don’t worry about it.
All of my work is turned in, my externship secured.
Graduation is at six on the twenty-fourth.
Do you think Grandma and Grandpa will make it?
It’s okay if they don’t. I understand.”
Then there were fewer hugs which were
by a forty-hour work week,
a tidied room,
clothes in the hamper,
and gas in the car.
--all none of my doing.
It slipped away quietly, almost over night--
an Adult World kidnapping that left no ransom note,
Just emptiness in a mother’s heart--
a heart that once
Begged for cleanliness,
Nagged about deadlines, and
Longed for independence--his
independence, not mine.
Now, in silence I sit
alone in a clean room--holding the bear that
once calmed childhood fears and eased teenage angst--
praying for the power that will soothe
a mother’s aching heart
and fill her hungry arms
until his hugs return--home.