Unbound: A Mother’s Day Poem for Reclaiming a Difficult Childhood

What is a soul?
Is it united with the body or separate?
Is it perfected or a work in progress?
What of a Jewish soul?
Does our essence carry our generations?
Does a Jewish mother preside over her child’s soul?
Hers was a motherhood of laughter and photo albums. 
Yours was a childhood in which children were not to be heard or seen.
Hers was a motherhood of fierce love against all odds. 
Yours was a childhood in which you were the odd one out.
Hers was a motherhood of selflessness and sacrifice.
Yours was a childhood in which to have a self was the ultimate betrayal.

For years, you have been telling yourself that yours is hers.
That you and her are inescapably bound in the same glad tale.

And yet here you stand, open to the truth of your own existence.
Your one, individual life in the midst of all that forced sharing.

You know what’s true.
And anyway, she can be her and you can be you.

O, Source of Life:
Grant me clarity of mind and body to know the truth of my own soul.

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