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m(other) a letter to my adopted daughter

by Hanta Henning

my child
there are two mothers
in your heart
and in your head
the one who bore you
and me
who raises you in her stead

when you came
there was no map
of the road ahead
instead i stumbled blindly
towards where i thought
it led

within you
was not the glistening beacon
i came to long for
to expect
but a darkened maze
i never could predict
in your small vessel
the mesh of pain
singing thinly
opaque light
what was
and what was
yet to be

you never grew
within me

your branches spread
away and out
from darkened soil
a veil of thin mist
always obscuring
my way amidst the thickets
of your trees

did i fail you?
did i falter
when i took you
from one who
could not
would not
be your mother?
were they flawed
my misbegotten choices –
did it turn me martyr
make you other?

i have no answers now.

the path remains uncharted.

i try to feel my way
in this blind forest
find my footing
along your bluff

we circumnavigate
each other
but it might never
be enough
for full details.