My young son asked, “Momma, who do you love more? Me or Nicki?” I had to think. I knew the stock answer was, “I love you both the same,” but I didn’t. I loved some qualities about him that she didn’t have and she had some lovable qualities that I didn’t see in him.
I had always thought of my son as my heart and my daughter as my soul. I had loved Nicki long before I ever knew her. As an only child I had wished for a little sister. On realizing that wasn’t going to happen, I had hoped that one day I would have a daughter. Nicki was the realization of that dream.
Long before either of them were born, I had been told I would never carry a child to term. My son, Lance proved that theory was wrong. He was the person who had proven to me that I was capable of giving life to another and nurturing that life. I had hoped for his birth from the moment my doctor confirmed that I was pregnant and I had loved him from the moment he first stirred within my womb.
Did I love my children the same? No. Did I love one or the other more? No. I loved them each to the fullness of love I have to give, but I loved them each differently. I thought of some lyrics from the Sound of Music, “Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love ‘til you give it away.”
I never have learned how to write poetry. I know nothing about form or meter. I call rhythm “cadence”. It has to feel right when I think it or say it. The best way to describe how I write poetry is that I see a picture in my mind and I try to paint it with words.
I thought about how love comes from the “heart” and I had my answer. “The heart is a pool, not a pie,” I told my son. “Love is the spring that flows inside.”
Later that day I finished the poem.