The Question

Who am I

but a mother

a purveyor of school lunches

and snacks and dinners

a laundry-washing, clothes-sorting, stain-sticking fiend

a tear-stopper, an instigator

laying down the law, but finding no joy in being in charge.

For being the boss should have its benefits, no?


I’m paralyzed by free time.

When I hit the kill switch on motherhood for the night,

the juice still flows.

Like cell phone minutes that carry over, my to-do runs ad infinitum and I think how I can get a jump start on tomorrow.


Then my psyche calls.

Hello, it’s me.

Who is me?


Someone who needs nurturing.

Who needs slowing down,




Something to make her heart sing.

Something to take it all away

so she can decide what to build on.


But what?


do I get past this feeling of unrest that is the only thing about me that sits


in my heart

my being

my soul


To whom do I report?

To whom do I direct complaints?

To whom can I go,

when I know not what I need,

know not what I ask.


But there is the question



Luke Stettner, Can’t See the Forest for the Trees, 2009.

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