Let This Mother Mourn

Let this mother mourn.

Let her pour out
the sweet drink of merriment
and sip the bitter cup of loss.

Let her tuck away her shopping bags.

Let her pay her respects.

Let her trade her caroling.

Let her sing a dirge. 

Let her groan her heartbreak.

Let her weep for children.

Let her hug other mothers -

Unsure whether she is giving comfort
or taking it.

Let this mother mourn.

Let her refuse to be soothed 

by rhetoric,
comforted only by her God, 

and the soft warm skin of her children

nestled to her bosom
safe and whole.

Let this mother mourn. 

Let her object to the politicizing of her pain
and the sensationalizing of her sorrow. 

Let this mother mourn. 

Let her think of the mothers

who will never again bury their noses
in their child’s hair
after a bath-
sweet simple serenity. 

Let this mother mourn. 

Let her whimper and cry and wail.

Let her cover her head with sackcloth and ashes
in repentance
for violence.

Let her recoil from evil.

Let her refuse to speak the unspeakable.

Let her guard her heart. 

Let this mother mourn. 

And then, when she is done mourning -

Let her rise up

in prayer 

With a strong voice
Unafraid to speak up
for the children
Weighing in on the 
Issues of her day
[healthcare for the mentally ill]

[violent video games]
[prayer in schools]

But for now,
Let this mother mourn.