A Mother’s Love

I remember when I was a child,
being envious of my friends,
who would run home and tell Mom
about their day;
slamming the screen door
and the noise interrupting
the spring sound of awak’ning.
Standing in a warm kitchen,
apple pie baking and she,
with a whiff of flour on her cheek,
radiant with smile
as she listened to the story of the home run
that almost was.
Seeing me standing there on the breadth,
she flashed that smile of understanding,
and scolded us both for running so hard in the heat.
Then she sat us down
at a white pine tree kitchen table
to a treat of ice-cold milk and cake.
She, silently singing to herself,
today’s a treat to tomorrow’s desserts.
I knew she understood how I felt;
a small child so alone,
and she, another one’s mom,
with enough love left over
to treat me as her own.
Thanks Mom.

I remember often my foster home,
I being fortunate in my time.
Time sometimes spent searching
for another one’s love – you see,
I don’t have those childhood memories of a mother,
Mine left for the other side of the tree.
I only remember her
as seen in other kids’ eyes,
and I realize –
that mothers the world over,
are really all the same.
they love all children,
somehow never forgetting a child’s name, so –
thank you Mom,
every Mom,

Creative Commons License
This poem by Suzette Seveny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

My Prayer

Lord, please don’t let me love again
I’ve done it much too often;
each time I end up with a pain
that words can never soften.
The last time really shattered me;
I’m not quite recovered yet.
Perhaps a hundred years or two
will help me to forget.
So please dear Lord because so much
has happened to me before,
don’t let me fall in love again.

Well… maybe just once more.

Creative Commons License
This poem by Suzette Seveny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Unsent Email

Every time you hurt me with your words,
I wrote an email
telling you
how your words made me feel
but I never sent it.
Every time you put me down,
mocked me, belittled me,
or insulted me,
I wrote an email
telling you
what an asshole you are
but I never sent it.

Every time you pushed me away,
I wrote an email
pointing out
why you’re alone
and lonely,
but I never sent it.
I looked
at my saved but unsent emails.
I saw
a pattern of behaviour
that I could not accept,
because I am worth more,
much more
than that.
I deleted
those unsent emails.

Today I realized
you aren’t worth it.
Today I finally understood

you never were. 

Creative Commons License
This poem by Suzette Seveny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

In Hiding

I loved a man and then I lost;
And now I have to pay the cost
Of life alone in Solitude;
A constant dark’ning of the mood.

It’s not the loss that I can’t face
But haunting mem’ries of loving days;
So filled with lies and subterfuge;
T’would make another want to lose.

Perhaps I trusted much in haste.
Now I stand amidst the waste,
Trying to face reality
And slay the dragons to set me free.

But still I’m bound with all my chains,
While I’m learning to cope with all the pain
And this agony I feel inside;
But there is no haven – I cannot hide.

Originally written on May 16, 1984

Creative Commons License
This poem by Suzette Seveny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Memories of Christmas Past

For the first time in many years, I’m home on Christmas with nothing to do, except clean up from the night before since we had our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I tried to plan something for today. I tried to find a place where I could volunteer to help serve Christmas dinner – at a shelter or church. Getting the vulnerable sector screen done at the police station was not the problem. Most places had a policy in place where volunteers had to be trained and training was scheduled for January. Some places were surprised I was offering and didn’t know how to answer me. Some never answered at all. Emails and voice mails left unanswered.

I don’t remember any Christmases before I went in the CAS at 5 years old. I remember the Christmases afterwards though. My foster mother, Alice, would bake the week before – mincemeat tarts, lemon tarts, butter tarts, and shortbread cookies. Then there would be tortière. On Christmas eve, my father, Art, would drive us around to see all the glorious Christmas lights. We’d joke about the most extravagant ones, how they must work for the hydro company! When we got home, we’d hang our stockings, drink our eggnog, watch a Christmas movie on TV, sing some carols, and then go to bed and try to sleep; excited for the arrival of Santa.

On Christmas morning we’d find our stockings on our beds, to keep us amused until the grownups awoke. Inside were colouring books and crayons, clementine oranges (a real treat back then), jigsaw puzzles and small books to read. When the grownups awoke, we’d have breakfast at the kitchen table; usually pancakes or french toast. Then we’d gather around the Christmas tree to open our gifts. We learned patience and delayed gratification in the process! The gifts were never anything large, usually clothing, books, a jigsaw puzzle, and a toy or two. A handmade cradle for a favourite doll, a stuffed animal (mine was a poodle) that we could cuddle with at night; just little things that showed us we were loved and thought of.

After we got dressed, we’d help my mother in the kitchen with the turkey. We’d chop onions and celery for the stuffing, and prepare the turkey for the oven. Even the phrase “sweet and savory” reminds me of my childhood Christmases. In the afternoon the relatives would start to arrive. They’d bring bottles of wine and boxes of candy, such as chocolate covered cherries and Allsorts licorice. We’d all talk at once, in French and in English and eat until we’d almost burst. I’d pass my lima beans to our dog Rex discretely, and he’d be grateful because someone snuck him food from the table!

Dishes were done in shift work. When the tea towel from drying got too wet to dry anymore, another person with another towel would take over. Clean up went by quickly.

So while I spend an uneventful day today, I’m reflecting on my parents, and how grateful I am for all that they gave me and taught me. I’m grateful for the “normal” childhood, for the values demonstrated, and for the lessons of charity that were their most important gifts to me. I tried for many years to recreate that feeling of Christmas and family in my home. I hope I did. Because it isn’t about the expensive gifts, it’s about family, friends, and above all else, love.

This Christmas, I wish everyone much love in their lives.