raising love

she loved them all

the best she knew

one day they would leave

her table emptied of rice

she would sit alone

no pepper to pass

no spat to diffuse

no laughter to echo

just her own half eaten plate

for now

she huddled them close

nourishing their bellies

as much as their souls

so they would be strong and kind

secure and gentle

confident in compassion

ready and able

to travel this grand world

she held at the tips of her fingers

her palms always open

for their return