Branching Out

Gumunden, Austria (
Image courtesy of

CaptureMy Featured Blogger this week is Kate Duff of A Thousand Bits of Paper. Australian writer and poet Kate covers a wide range of topics, both articulately and compellingly. But beneath all of her writing is a common thread, the human condition, and consequently I have never read a post by her that did not speak to me. Read on and I know you’ll agree. 

A part of me will always be missing

Where once I was whole

You cannot add limbs to a tree

And not feel the lack when they fall

Leaves turn colour, seeds fly away on the wind

They land in other forests and begin again

Once a heart has split, it will always be divided

A wound that never heals but is instead debrided again and again

“To be a Mum is to always be divided, your time, your energy, we trade freedom for love.” So spoke a Mother to her daughter (recently become a Mother herself). The words, so true.

Once, so long ago I hardly recall it now, I was selfish and whole. I thought mostly about myself and what I wanted. Then my children were born and suddenly the world shifted. My time was consumed, my energy stolen, my heart utterly bolted.

I have not known a full 24 hours since they were born, that I didn’t have some anxious thought about my sons. Even though they have left home now, I still wake in the night worrying about one or the other or both of them. Hoping, wishing,praying that they are okay, happy, healthy.

I see them walk into the room and my heart recognises pieces of itself in them, it jumps happily in my chest. It swells. To love your children is to feel everything flow out of yourself. There is nothing that can be withheld, even when you try.

At what point do we finally take all of our whole self back from our children? I don’t think we ever do. I can’t imagine that time and I selfishly hope it never happens now. Instead, one day I will have others to love. Even more of my heart to give away, feel the edges crumble at a little ones smile and gift another torn shred “here, have it” what are we if we have nothing of ourselves to give?

The young can be selfish. It is their right. One day they too, if they are lucky, will fall under the spell of a child, their own flesh, made into “other” and born into this world. When they do, it will make sense. Until then children will not understand the power they wield over their parents.

Until then they will be whole.

Click here to read more of Kate’s posts.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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16 Responses to Branching Out

  1. Not sure how this one got passed me, Kate is awesome. Thanks for sharing it!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hello Kate. I recently began following you because as Mitch said, above, your posts also “speak to me.” You are a most welcome voice of reason in our far too oft unreasonable society.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Mitch, thanks for spotlighting Kate’s blog. I find her poetry inspirational and uplifting.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Wow, this is powerful and beautiful! Thanks for sharing, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate Duff says:

    Thankyou for featuring me Mitch, it’s an honour.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mickmar21 says:

    A lot of poetry is akin to torture. However there are times when it is insightful. That poem was and it makes an individual pause and reflect.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Michele Lee says:

    A beautiful poem by Kate and a relatable write, for parents. 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You sure know how to pick them, Mitch! I went to Kate’s site to read more posts, and every one is a winner!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love that you are highlighting other blogs, Mitch. Great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Branching Out – CURIOSIDADES NA INTERNET

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