Poem: The Second Son

By: Kimberly Potter Kendrick

secondson

Teenagers playing grown-ups
Immature judgement
The mother’s daughter stolen by him
A nest left half-empty
Condemnation, the mother’s stance
Fierce disapproval of him

The mother begged her daughter
Finish school
Don’t rush
“If it’s meant to be…”
Words unheard
The daughter simply walked away
Disillusioned, wounded; the mother wept

The daughter lying on the mother’s couch
Aware unconditional love endured, she began to speak
Her mother interrupted, already recognizing the radiance of her daughter’s face
Adult choices and consequences
Comprehension of the magnitude of the circumstance questionable
The daughter’s decision
On her child the mother would not, could not turn her back

Dismay transformed into excitement
Abundant joy on the way
The mother softened
Food for them, she bought
Thrift shops rummaged
Purchasing piles of little clothes, a highchair, a crib
Appointments, not a single absence
Even a vaccination the mother willingly received
Intense disapproval changed into unpretentious dislike
Earned the mother’s heart, he had not

The day arrived
Gazing as contractions emerged on the computer screen
Unengaged was he
Abandoning the room, abandoning her daughter for extended intervals
Justifications; shower, smokes, Chinese food
Leaving her daughter’s side, the mother did not fathom

The moment drew nearer
He and the mother established a vital team
The daughter they both deeply loved
Language, a barrier: however; he and the mother communicated
The arrival impending, together assisting
Shortly tears fell, touching tiny fingers and toes, observing the creation of ink footprints
He held his newborn son for awhile
Next he lay the precious baby into the new grandmother’s arms
A realization; dislike switched into like

The mother scrutinized him
Hard working, but heritage dominated
Chores left to her daughter
Care of little one too
Questions the mother asked, left unanswered
As the months elapsed something shifted
Significance of holidays, he now understood
Visiting the grandfather’s grave; grasping the importance of the family name
Child care and household chores, he commenced to share
The daughter’s heart he sustained
Her happiness, their son; his priorities

A diamond selected, placed on the daughter’s finger
Watching teenagers becoming young adults
The mother approved of the marriage prior to the exchange of rings
He snatched a portion of the mother’s heart
Family he became; the like turned into love

Another baby on the way
Once again, the mother and he found themselves in an identical room as three years previous
A change perceived
Matured he had
Language no longer a barrier
Coaching together
Loving her
Loving the first
Witnessing the arrival of the second blessing
A family of four, he and the daughter had created

Snowflakes fell in the dark that night
Slick roads, black ice
Trepidation he demonstrated
Tenderly offering his mother-in-law the babe to rock
He put the mother first
A man he had become

Not recognizing the day of the occurrence
The mother’s son-in-law had become a second son
Suegra he called the mother
A secret the mother kept; her heart melted at the affectionate title
A second mother to him
Loved unequivocally all three children
The two miracles changed the mother
His three extraordinary godsends changed him
Su suegra le ama

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