Within, Without

My mother was not always there
To help me grow to be the woman
That I am, since duty called
And never called for me and never would.

While she commanded ships and seas
And saw the world with sailor's eyes,
I stood on solid ground, in foreign land,
My pleas ignored, my peers unkind.

The families that took care of me
Did no such thing, for I could not compare
To their own little girls. I felt unloved
As no child ever should.

The days grew long, my patience short,
My voice grew small, and every single second
With my mother gone
Was like eternity to my young mind.

Mama returned, but not for long
Before she had to leave again. Again. By then
My heart was mean, and my eyes flared
Just like a serpent's hood.

She finally returned to me for good. And
Even though my heart still mourned
For childhood lost, her own was filled
With love so bright it left me blind.

And with my mother here, I could
Leave all my hardships far behind.