Sue Fulton – Birth Mother

June 30, 2014 | By | 8 Replies More

Before I knew your name,
I smiled at my new husband
under the scorch of the east coast sun,
while you died in California.

Hot tears burn my cheeks.
I hold my breath in silence,
watching the flame I lit for you
dance upon winds of darkness.

Your brothers and cousins I never met
welcomed me in your absence,
a sea of eyes,
scanning me for traces of you.

I am a ghost.

You held me but loved me
enough to walk away, alone,
into a world too harsh
to share your secret.

Before I knew your name,
I could not ease the heartbreak
this world had brought you.
I was too late.

I look to the western horizon,
knowing—for the first time,
you will not think of me today,
my birthday.

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Category: Knowing, Poetry

Comments (8)

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  1. Kerry Holjes says:

    Sue Fulton is a dear friend, and I’ve already read this poem and her Birth Father poem many times, but they still brings tears to my eyes. I want to thank her for having the courage to share her words and her mission with us at When Women Waken. Opening adoption records so that adoptees at least can have the benefit of knowing medical histories seems a common-sense kindness. Sue has never even seen her actual birth certificate. Imagine being denied such taken-for-granted information.

  2. Connie Severson says:

    I am Susan Fulton’s mother and I am so proud of my daughter. I have watched her grow and develop into a beautiful woman. I will be eternally grateful to her birth mother for her decision allowed me to have a very special daughter to love.

    • Kerry Holjes says:

      Connie, You and Tom Fulton have done a wonderful job raising a thoughtful, loving human being. The fact that both of you have supported her in her search for her birth roots is further evidence of how much you love her. I know she feels blessed to have been adopted by the two of you. There is no family greater than the one love creates.

  3. I was moved to tears by this piece. I sense that the writer has been on a journey that has been intensely painful and ultimately healing for herself and others.

    • Sue Fulton says:

      Diane, your sense about my poem is correct. I missed meeting my birth mother only by a few years. Even though there has been pain, I am liberated as well. And while I’ll never meet my birth mother Carol, her brothers and their families have shown me such a sincere kindness. It’s from them that I have found my peace.

  4. Pamela Chudzinski Warner says:

    Hi Sue. Aunt Claire’s sister Pam here. I loved your two poems. So beautiful! I’m so happy for the love and support given to you in this endeavor. May it continue to be a blessing to all involved as the years go on. As a supporter of adoption, a New York State resident and a registered voter, I will do my part to get the legislation changed so that adoptees can have access to the information that they desire. So glad it was a positive experience for you and yours. The best of everything as you move forward. Pam Warner

    • Elizabeth Wagner says:

      Hello Pamela and Sue.

      Sue, I read your poem and it touched me. Pam your reply is heartening to any adoptee. It is nice to meet an old classmate anywhere in virtual reality or in the flesh. I can only imagine the mixed emotions at a real event such as you describe Susan. Much love goes out to you and your family.


  5. Jill Coyle says:

    Great poem! Makes me sad, but good poetry always elicits emotion.

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