The Longing Arms

The Longing Arms

Filled now and spilling
When arms hold
And hush the
Long anticipated one-
Sweet love requited.

Did I know
How empty they were-
My arms, heart-
Before you?
You laughed at the emptiness
And swallowed it whole.

…of the wind
she is, a soft kiss
come alive
the eyes and face of those with
thin, motherless arms.


This poem is in a form called the Shadorma, with the following syllabic structure in each stanza: 3-5-3-3-7-5.

I wrote this last year, just before Mother’s Day, and share it again today, with d’Verse Poets Open Link Night Week #43 and with Imperfect Prose.

The poem is about myself holding my own child, but also about the many children who have no one to hold them.

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13 Responses to The Longing Arms

  1. janehewey says:

    this is a precious poem. i enjoy the construction and will give it a go myself. thank you.

  2. tashtoo says:

    Love the subject, both as personal and global. A beautifully rendered write that speaks of both love and lack of it. Powerful write for this OpenLinkNight! See you soon 🙂

  3. brian miller says:

    You laughed at the emptiness
    And swallowed it whole.

    smiles….i like those lines…that lasts stanza could be a poem of itself…wow…that last stanza is very evocative…

  4. Your empty arms filled, filling others with love and honor. Lovely and loving mother’s day tribute. Thank you.

  5. You laughed at the emptiness
    And swallowed it whole.

    Loved this line–this piece speaks to me today–Thank you!

  6. poemblaze says:

    Yet another poetic form I’d never heard of! Great poem. The ending lines are wonderful.

  7. Beautiful language here, and great form as well.

    Excellent work.

  8. “…of the wind
    she is, a soft kiss”
    What an beautiful image of a precious, longed-for child who “laughed at the emptiness and swallowed it whole.”
    I’m so glad you shared this again!

  9. hedgewitch says:

    Shadorma is one of my fave forms to write–it’s very structured and graceful, but hard. I’ve never managed more than three of them together, so I’m both impressed by your skill, and also lulled by your words, which are almost a lullaby of serenity. Very nice indeed.

  10. so beautiful… and I smiled at the way children have of swallowing our emptiness whole!

  11. ManicDdaily says:

    Lovely – lovely shift – but very sad too. Agh! I lost my father this year and mother getting very old too now. k.

  12. claudia says:

    Did I know
    How empty they were-
    My arms, heart-
    Before you? ….sometimes we only realize the emptiness after having been filled…what a great mother day poem..and beyond…

  13. thin, motherless arms… swallowing it whole… wow. this poetry is so full of angst and power. it ministers to the broken-hearted, friend. thank you.

Thank you for your comments, much appreciated!!

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