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  • Writer's pictureMario Mainland

Heart-shaped feet

You almost didn’t have it

and I’m sure some nights you nearly said the word

but you never gave up,

you told fate to suck it up and give you what you deserved,

and guess what, it heard – split open, laid itself bare and there – despite your tears and sins, because of your grit, and faith, and strength, you proudly share to all

your twins

born healthy and happy and swiftly swaddled,

and from warmth and safety pulled to cold and hunger,

like wildflowers suckling on the wind, suddenly plucked and bottled

by a stranger that cut and wrapped the blanket tight

they take their breath in darkness

and get lost in light and thunder…

you became a parent and saw all the colours of the world in a sterile room of white.

So, I say: Well done my friend! You made it to the end, you fought the fight and won

and paid the price, a two for one – a daughter and a son!

Congratulations! from one parent to another; the work is never done.

I say: Welcome father, welcome mother

and when you see their faces for the first time and cup those heart-shaped feet

and hold them to your chest and feel every beat

and count all their fingers and all their toes

and hold their hands to cross the street

and contemplate the friends they’d meet

and curse the way time ticks and goes

only a parent knows

all of the bitter

and all the sweet-

your lack of sleep,

their midnight treat

and your constant worry

will always be their safety keep.

So, remember what’s not often said:

A child is crippled by what it doesn’t know

Teach them so they can walk

A teen is burdened by knowing too much

Show them humility and wisdom

An adult is shackled by the pursuit of love

Be at peace – they’ll break free, they would never give up,

because mom and dad

you never did


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