Susan has set us a prompt at Mid-Week Motif: honoring women's achievements. I considered many of the obvious heroic women, but then I thought about women for whom there is often a lot of judgment and blame, who quietly do the undoable without a lot of help or support, acknowledgment or thanks: the single moms of the world.
The last thing you wanted for your children
was a broken family and lives of grueling poverty.
The last thing you wanted for yourself
was raising kids alone,
working one or two jobs
to keep the roof from falling on their heads,
years when you felt you existed
only to carry bags of groceries in the door.
You were only one person, and at work,
not home to try to keep your kids
from making bad choices.
They rarely had the coolest clothes, any money,
enough to eat, the things they wanted,
or two parents in the home.
There was enough love and laughter
to raise the rafters,
and you never ran away,
or sat in the bar drinking to numb the misery
of Never Being Enough.
You got up every morning, often singing,
to make the breakfast and the lunches,
and see them off to school.
You did what was required
because it was your job to do.
And you may not hear it often,
in all the stories about
deprived traumatic childhoods,
but, kiddo, you did a damned fine job.