a poem by
DEBORAH STAUNTON | Mother + Writer 


 My creativity is closely connected to my experience of raising two special needs children. I find that writing through the pain helps me to step out of it temporarily and to (hopefully) bring something meaningful to my readers who may relate to my story.

AT times like these my soul is shattered.
The longing for a lost dream,
the letting go of the fairy tale,
the harsh, penetrating knowledge
that it will never be, never has been, was never meant to be.
At times like these, I lose myself in a sea of unforgiving demands,
the waves of failure rising up to dizzying heights,
pausing only for seconds before the inevitable crash,
leaving me breathless and soaked,
shivering and pleading with the fates to turn the tide.

My anger recedes with the water,
slowly moving out to sea
only to return for the next storm.
Until then, I breathe deeply of the salt air
and resolve to fight harder next time by not fighting at all.
I berate myself for failing her, for failing myself, for failing us
for struggling again and again and again,
for allowing my child’s demons to cripple me,
for not being strong enough, capable enough, good enough
to fix her, to fix us, to fix this.

This child who came from me,
a stranger, an alien, a foreigner
to the very person whose connection with her is deepest.
I beseech the fates for answers, for understanding,
for lessons yet unlearned and growth yet unachieved

Photograph by Tim Marshall