I do not doubt you would have liked
one of those pretty mothers in the ads:
complete with adoring husband and happy children.
She's always smiling, and if she cries at all
it is absent of lights and camera,
makeup washed from her face.
But since you were born of my womb, I should tell you:
I wanted to be myself -- and for a woman that's hard --
(even my Guardian Angel refused to watch over me
when she heard).
I cannot tell you that I know the road.
Often I lose my way
and my life has been a painful crossing
navigating reefs, in and out of storms,
refusing to listen to the ghostly sirens
who invite me into the past,
neither compass nor binnacle to show me the way.
But I advance,
go forward holding to the hope
of some distant port
where you, my children -- I'm sure --
will pull in one day
after I've been lost at sea.
Clean Slate, trans. by Margaret Randall and Elinor Randall