Today’s poem really speaks to me. Part of this is because many of my poems are like this, written in this style. But really it’s because this poem speaks to those really hard moments in parenting. There I am, with one of my daughters, and she is really upset and I know she is going to become more upset. You see, more tears need to come and I need to be there, comforting her.

Yes, I wrote about this yesterday. So I’m on repeat. Still, it was like a small miracle, seeing this poem posted on Facebook by one of my favorite parenting coaches, Meghan Leahy. Then I found the poet’s website and saw she teaches online poetry classes. Ahh, I thought, a like-minded soul who is walking a similar path. This was an exiting find for me, and I hope this poem is an exciting find for you, too.

Sometimes vulnerable
is so vulnerable
there’s no better word
for what happens
when you stand at the end
of the bed, just before
turning away, change
your mind, unbutton
your old coat
as in, this is not
the kind of protection
I want to wear,
instead turning to one
who will listen,
even, especially, when
this one is yourself,
and revealing the soft
ache a comment
or a conversation
pushed on, didn’t mean
harm but that phantom
pain sometimes
comes unexpectedly,
and saying this hurts,
and I don’t need it
That’s when some tears
might come, the kind
kind, that would have you
know you are loved,
not loved anyway,
but really loved right
right there in the room
you could have left
without a word,
but didn’t.

Jen Schwartz

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