Poetry Archive

Don’t Cry

Don’t cry over spilt milk
it took 3 hours to pump
over scratches and bumps
as baby fell just left of the plush carpet

Don’t cry over exhaustion
compulsive cautions
shaken from anxious dreams
by chilling screams
Does it not seem cruel
that babies, too, have night terrors?

Don’t cry from judgmental stares
unsolicited advice
partner’s expectations
coming to bare

Don’t cry at your lack
of ability to soothe
or juggle
or produce
your aching back
as you move

But do cry.

Cry because you, too,
suffer growing pains
for the pieces of you lost
against the carver’s blade
for your small body of land
stretched to fathomless terrain
and your patience
and your heart

Cry because you dare
to have it all
because even superheroes
fear the crash and fall
Why else would they wear capes?

Cry because water is life-giving
and so are you.

Cry. Cry. Cry.
And then
Because one day that precious child
with so much pain and joy to face
will look up with earnest longing
and ask you, mama
little by little
day by day
cry by cry
smile by smile

Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Raising Mothers, join us as a sustaining member to help RM remain ad-free. Invest in amplifying the voices of Black, Asian, Latine(x), Indigenous and other parents of color at our many intersections. Tiers start at $5/month.

Support Raising Mothers

Filed under: Poetry Archive


Andrea Hope is an internationally recognized performance poet, editor, and self-proclaimed world citizen. Her works have won acclaim in North America, Europe, and the Middle East, including as featured by Brilliant Star Magazine (US), Spoken Word at Joe's Place (US), Baha'i Blog (US), the Catholic Association for Racial Justice (UK), Faith Initiative Magazine (UK), The Stage Tel Aviv (Israel), and WhyWhyWhy! (Israel). Her poetry book, To Mother, was published in April 2020, and she hosts a podcast by the same name. She is also a regular contributor to the social media platform WriteSpike, where she offers advice to developing writers based on her experience as a professional editor. Inspired by the emotive language of the Romantic era, Andrea Hope's poetic works often highlight lessons learned from nature, motherhood, and the Baha'i Faith.