Thank you: A Pumping Working Mother's Poem
Thank you for the closet of a room
where I enter two, sometimes three times a day,
like a monk observing the daily office,
praying with milk pouring from my body,
feeding my baby.
Thank you for the breast pump, its motor
humming like a choir on Sunday morning,
joining its chorus as I hum a lullaby to its rhythm,
singing the milk out of me.
Thank you for the bottles and the cones,
the plastic tubes and the paper thin membranes
that some engineer somewhere created so I could
know what it is to miss my child terribly and
be at peace with that.
Thank you for the moment just before I see him
at the end of each day. The steps, intentional on the ground,
moving forward, praying with each heel toe, heel toe,
anticipating the catch in my throat, the sparkle in his eye,
the exclamation from my lips.
Hi my sweet boy! How was your day?
Thank you for the conversation we have without
any words at all.
Someone congratulated me today on pumping.
It’s a huge commitment. Good for you.
Thank you for the encouragement. But we all
know there must be space created and sustained,
heard and understood in order for commitment
to be made in the first place.
So, thank you for my husband who ensures I have
good food to eat, setting the communion table
each night so the milk and the energy it takes for
me to produce it continue.
And thank you to myself (a helpful
reminder from my husband) for the
breathing, singing, praying, listening,
discovering, waiting, holding that it
takes to love and love well.
Thank you for the closet of a room.
Thank you for the breast pump.
Thank you for the bottles and cones.
Thank you for the moment just before I see him.
Thank you for the conversation we have without any words at all.
Thank you for the encouragement.
Thank you for my husband.
Thank you for myself.
©Claire K. McKeever-Burgett