Diane DeBella – Work in Progress

June 30, 2014 | By | 6 Replies More
Mother and Child by Alice Mason

Mother and Child by Alice Mason

Your faint whimper rouses me from slumber

as if it were a piercing scream.

No longer do I sleep soundly.


I quickly rise to investigate.


A bad dream seems the likely cause.

Your arms are lifted towards me.

I accept the invitation,

and hoist your six-year-old body onto my lap as we sink

into our favorite rocking chair.


You rest your head upon the breasts

that once provided life’s nourishment.

Now they calm your soul.

I breathe deeply, inhaling the sweet scent

of your hair, your skin,

as we slowly sway to life’s incessant rhythm.


When your breaths become deep and even,

I place you back in bed.

My body feels cold from the loss of you.

Climbing back underneath my covers

I realize that you are

my greatest work in progress.


Category: Knowing

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Kerry Holjes says:

    Diane DeBella, this poem speaks so eloquently to every mother’s hope that their mothering is sufficient to the needs of each child. Every time I read it, it carries me straight back to my years as a young mom—remembering the worry and the joy.

  2. Oh, I like this. Brings back memories of holding my small children. Yes, the weight of them, the warmth of them are so precious.

  3. Kerry and Sylvia,

    Thank you. There is nothing quite like those quiet moments of closeness. Our children grow up so quickly.

  4. Naomi Shaw says:

    I was taken back to the old rocking chair where I spent many late-night hours with my own colicky son – more than 20 years ago.
    Children are worth every moment we invest in them. They are a great masterpiece and we are the honoured ones given the task of stewarding this treasure.

  5. “You are my greatest work in progress” sums it up in a heart rendering and bittersweet image that speaks to me. Whenever I falter and think I haven’t accomplished much, I will think of my four beautiful children. My works of art. Thank you

  6. Emily Vanston says:

    What a lovely tribute to a mother’s love, and to the precious, fleeting years when little ones are small enough to lift up and hold. I was particularly struck by the line, “My body feels cold from the loss of you.” The lack of something can be as tangible as the thing itself, can’t it? Beautifully done.

Leave a Reply