I’m Still Here


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Michelin-Man legs kicking and flailing,

with a mighty grunt

you heave your roly-poly belly over,

then crane your weeble-wobble head around

to see where I went, though I have not moved—

I smile.

“I’m still here.”

 

Breakfast time, your pancakes wait;

you clamber up to gobble, squealing, “Cake-cakes!”

I sip my coffee on the couch behind you;

you cast glances over your shoulder to find me—

twinkle-eyed, you flash that syrupy heart-stopping grin.

I laugh.

“I’m still here.”

 

First day.

Your thin fingers squeeze mine in a death grip,

but soon you scamper off, hand-in-hand with a new friend;

every so often you pause to take sly peeks

at the pack of chatting Mommies—

I wave.

“I’m still here.”

 

“Here is fine, Mom.”

I brake, a dozen yards from the swarm of

bookbag-burdened pre-people.

I turn to hug you, but the door is already shut,

your back melting into the mob, disappearing.

I sigh.

“I’m still here.”

 

A shrill ring jangles me from a noontime armchair nap.

Little shouts and babbles tumble in the background

as we laugh across the miles.

A squeaky lisp interrupts, the line crackles; you chuckle.

“Are you there, Mom?”

I nod.

“I’m still here.”

 

A rattling disturbs my dreamy haze—

my own ragged breath.

A soft hand brushes cool against my forehead,

a lilting voice, warm as honeyed memories, sings lullabies—old friends.

“Don’t stop,” I say, even as I drift.

I smile.

You whisper, “I’m still here.”

Author: Elizabeth Laing Thompson VIEW ALL AUTHORS POSTS

Elizabeth works from home as a writer, editor, diaper changer, baby snuggler, laundry slayer, not-so-gourmet chef, kid chauffeur, floor mopper, dog groomer, and tantrum tamer. She is always tired, but it's mostly the good kind.

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