Love / mother and daughter / parenting / Poetry / relationships / Woman / Words that only poetry can say / Writing

Ticking hearts

I watch you, my daughter as you hold your baby close

I used to hold you like that…you wouldn’t remembermother-and-daughter

You sit opposite me and we make polite conversation

You ask me how my day was and I ask you the same

The minute hand ticks by

Echoing in the listening room

And I wonder when we forgot each other?

When we stopped knowing each other?

I see the distant look in your eyes when you look at me

You’re masking something

Tell me, my love. Tell me…

The ticking clock grows louder

Reminding us both that we have no words to share

When did I lose you, my Love?

Was it when I worked endlessly?

Was it when I had a house full of expectation to please?

Was it when I left you in your room alone rather than  ask you why the silence?

The clock beats against my heart

I have not much time

And I feel a murmur from that ticking heart raise up into my throat

The words  ‘I love you’ about to rush forth

My body crippled with pain reaches out, aching to draw you close


you’ve turned away, lifted your daughter near your ticking heart

The way I used to carry you…

The murmur replaces itself, words not spoken

The minute hand keeps ticking

My heart broken.



44 thoughts on “Ticking hearts

  1. After reading this poem my heart is gripped with fear. I have a daughter too and frequently such thoughts roam in my head. I wish I could make time standstill. Thank U for writing so beautifully. Not only this one but all of your other posts are wonderfully profound.

    I also wish to thank you for following my blog and my story.


    • Sometimes someone says something and you know that you will treasure it for a long time and your words are one of those treasures. Thank you…
      I often also think about the absolute loss of losing that communication with your child and it also grips me with fear. My son is beginning his transition into his teenage years and I can see him growing up and away from being a child – if only we could make time standstill…
      I do love your blog – thank you for your writing.

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  4. Wow,This is so beautiful,my mother and I are quite distant from each other, I hope she doesn’t feel like this, I don’t want to hurt her or break her heart.Thank you for making me look at myself and my mother quite differently.

    • Natalie, thank you so much for your words. I am deeply humbled by them.
      I think that’s where the agony is – not wanting to hurt your mother but also being hurt by the relationship. But I think you are right – there is no intention to cause harm and this is where I think healing takes place.

  5. when one can smile through the tears of sadness
    one knows they have read the words of a gifted spirit
    you have touched many hearts and memories with your thoughts
    Take Care…You Matter…

  6. Extremely moving! I too have lost contact with my daughter…her mother, my “ex” has discouraged any relationship with me. I’ve fought and fought it…no use. She’s now 18 yrs. old and I haven;t seen her since she was about 13.

    Oh well, maybe someday things might change…

    Good post!


    • It breaks my heart when I hear about parents who want desperate contact and the other does not allow it. I just really hope if the child doesn’t grow up knowing it then one day they will be fully immersed in the realisation that they were always loved.
      I wish you healing and peace with this part of your life.

  7. It still gets through … time to revisit Khayyam—

    “one moment, in annihilation’s waste … ”

    (I won’t quote in full, better some look it up.)

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  9. This was beautifully written and made me cry. Thank you for posting! Going to give my daughter a million kisses and hugs couldn’t imagine losing either one of my kids.

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