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  • Susan Dawn

Poem: I May Not Be A Mother, But I Am Mother Just the Same

Happy Mother's Day!

Today, I'm honoring the feminine energy. From babies to businesses, you birth and nurture the essence of love into the world. Here's to those who create, share compassion, and call upon the heart to make the world a better place.

I published the following poem several years ago when grappling with my own challenging emotions of not being a traditional mother in the eyes of society. May it honor and reflect the beautiful role of mother however we experience it.


There are no

sweet echoes of giggles

to coax out of frowns

like sunshine parting clouds,

or nightmares to be shushed,

or tears to wipe from rose-red cheeks

after sudden tumbles and silent falls.

There are no

loose teeth placed beneath pillows

in exchange for a fairy’s dollar,

or “some assembly required”

toys ready for birthday breakfast

or wrapped from Santa

beneath Christmas tree boughs

boasting homemade ornaments.

There are no

missing socks and mismatched shoes,

or discarded Lego bricks barely used,

or well-hugged dolls and snuggle-me blankets,

or one-of-a-kind art

displayed like a Picasso for the fridge.

There are no

“is this you and me?”

crayon drawings,

or “come and see”

tug of the hand

like a pull on the heartstrings,

or “I love yous”

from little voices

that flip my heart around.

I may not be a mother,

but I have been a mother.

I have held tightly

to those who have fallen

and not known how to help

themselves back up,

sat up all night in solidarity,

shooing away monsters in their mind.

I have wiped tears from desperate eyes,

coaxed smiles from stoic faces.

I have been the sunlight

on someone’s rain-filled day.

I may not be a mother,

but I have mothered

women with wrinkled hands

and fading memories

who remember old songs

like the children they were yesterday.

“One, two, buckle your shoe…”

There have been meals

for proper nourishment,

tough love talks

in the passenger seats of cars,

“I love you” hugs and “you’ll be okay” refrains—

a chorus I will sing until my final day.

I may not be a mother,

but I have been a mother,

to generations of ideas,

birthing creations from seedlings,

from the very core of my being,

watching them mature with the seasons

under the tender care

of my own nurturing hand.

I’ve sat up at night wondering,

imagining, pondering,

how to bring to fruition

visions years in gestation

that might one day change the world,

or one precious moment,

for one precious someone.

I may not be a mother,

but I have mothered

my own fears

and doubts

and hushed and hugged my inner child

who constantly wonders

if she is doing enough,

being enough,

loving enough…

I’ve looked at the portraits I’ve drawn,

the Picasso of my very life,

proclaiming, “this is you and me,” dear child.

This life is your creation.

I may not be a mother.

But I am Mother just the same.

"I May Not Be A Mother" by Susan Pogorzelski


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