The Poem I Said I Would Never Write

Every mother of a child who is disabled has at least one poem in her about her child, about the smile, the radiance, the beauty, the joy, the gifts, the focus, the new friends, the new purpose.

And every mother of a child who is disabled has seen them all: they get pressed into the hand by well-meaning friends, they get sent anonymously and with names affixed.

These poems assert that everything is fine, everything is perfect, the child is God’s special gift to the family, life could not be better.

When my son was younger and the poems began appearing, I vowed I would never write such a poem. I would never deny the pain. I would never blame God as some of those poems do. I wouldn’t add to the lies.

But time passed.  Now I understand those poems.

Now I know that every child is a bucket of pain and a bucket of joy. My son’s bucket of pain was too soon full but that bucket is only half of his story.

A mother of a child who is disabled wants other people to see the bucket that is less visible to others but most visible to her.

Maybe a poem can help.

— Cherry Winkle Moore

Image of Cherry Winkle Moore
Cherry Winkle Moore

Cherry Winkle Moore is a visual artist and a retired hospice chaplain. Cherry has a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting, drawing and printmaking from the University of Alabama. Later she completed a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in pastoral care. Cherry sometimes says that in her case the MFA stands for Minister of Fine Arts and the MDiv stands for Making Divine Images Visible.

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