I even have a superstition that has grown on me
as the result of invisible hands
coming all the time..
Namely, that if you follow your bliss
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while,
waiting for you.
And the life that you ought to be living,
is the one you ARE living.
-joseph campbell

Friday, June 18, 2010

Paradox of Adult Children

Lately they come to me,
smelling faintly of
smoke and leaves
and other people's cars.

They come
for renewal and validation,
they come begging,
like street performers
hiding behind
tricks, or grades or funny stories.
Aching for approval or more often,
for money,
willing me to open
the mother wallet
and let the spirits move
to finance their dreams,
or their snacks,
or gas for their car.

They come to me
all false bravado and devil may care
never knowing
I see
the trembling hand
or lowered shifty eyes revealing
haunted hurting hearts.

At night
they come to me
still needing some small goodbye ritual
and never knowing
I can still see them
all blankets and thumbs and small feet kicking.

They come
with more questions than answers.
tilling secret gardens,
proof they are growing away from me,
don't need me

But still,
they come.
Finding their way
in from the cold
They let me reach for their hand
For a moment
I pull them close and smell their hair
and know they are mine.

Behind stubble and bangs of a nameless color.
they still sweat grass and pool water and wind.
mixed with a secret scent we share,
branded onto my heart
from the first day
I knew them.

Even though they have again stolen my sleep,
overtaken all my prayers
and recklessly wrapped themselves up
in most moments of possible peace.
There is hope
down the hallway
they come.
To me.
To home.
hearts still open wide.


  1. I am in tears, Sherri. This is *it*. You have nailed it. Spoken my heart. My pride. My secret fears. My aching love. My empty arms. My too-quiet house. My unsure, immature, making mistakes loves of my life.

    May I please, please, please post this on my blog--giving your blog and your authorship a shout out?

  2. Hey T...... it was something YOU wrote that got me musing on this hard to describe relationship and job! Of course you may use it, post it, whatever you like.

  3. Just wait...soon comes the day they walk in the door holding their own child. And you begin to witness the miracle of your child parenting a little one. All those words of wisdom you spoke and you thought they never heard you? They did...and you will hear them spoken to your grandchildren. Watching your child become a great parent...that is the ultimate reward!

    Cheryl Graham

  4. wow. completely moved me sherri. felt both the parent side of me and the child within. what a gift you have been given as a writer.

  5. Sherri,

    This is truly beautiful. I do not know yet what the future brings, my children are still so small, but I feel it in your writing. It makes me think of my own steps into adulthood.

  6. sherri have you published this? i thought i was reading a well known poet. i would love to share this with my sister if you don't mind. it will especially mean a lot to her...