by Kendra Thompson

Lord, teach me how.
Not by books or courses,
not with prestigious titles,
excessive income. Teach me
instead to let nothing clutter
my heart. Prepare me
to be emptied of all that stands
 in the way. 

I guess this training 
already began. The pinnacle when,
eight years ago, my body, practically useless,
became a swollen mass supporting
a growing womb. Head, tired. Shoes,
outgrown. Mind, scattered. All I could do
was rest and wait. 

Finally, one Lenten Tuesday, 
I was wheeled on a bed, arms outstretched,
my body barely clothed. The doctor’s
tools made way for life to be extracted
from my failing body; and then he came –
the boy who made me a mom. 

They say the Blessed Mother 
bore many wounds. But one 
of them was that, by scorn and shame, 
she delivered a son who’d save 
the world, then die. 

Heavy work, it is, 
but I aspire to it. 
Teach me self-sacrifice,
Lord, even when it scares me. 
Shape me into the mother 
who resembles the cross,
whose joy is because of you,
whose self-abandonment 
leads to belonging.

Kendra Thompson is a wife, mother, writer and minister living in Northwest Iowa. Her work has appeared in SpectrumBody Love for AllPoet’s Choice and These Interesting Times. You can find more of her writing on her blog

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