when i think of home …

waiting in the rain
adele blares
i will be ur remedy
another mass shooting

when the pain cuts u deep
my son in a blue lives matter t
as i merge into the black body
between the world and me

my mouth bleeds
new crowns on swollen gums
porcelain placed and pounded
perfect and numb

in nyack
u text
as talking has always
left u vexed

come on by
flys thru my thumbs
without thought
our love aint water under the bridge

the baby curled
on the cocoa leather couch
the code given
enter – again

u r with a man
10 years ur senior
20 years my junior
from my home town

he offers his hand
eyes down
he has been here before
somehow familiar

his mother –
he confesses
is bi polar
his dad dead

a swamp person
like us
he has survived
many fires

i take u in
ripped blacks jeans
on a starved small frame
let me photograph u in this light

ur arms now marked
like mine
ink stained pain
to define u

i read today
joyce maynard
adopted 2 girls
from Ethiopia

6 and 9 in 2010
14 months later
she gave them away
rehomed them

rehomed is a new word
spell check underlines it
makes no sense
the red dashes say

rehome – verb
to find a new family
for adopted children
on your own

20/20 – did a similar story
a heavy set – gay seeming
republican christian dad
clinging to his stoic wives hand

with tearful watery eyes
they told their tales
of troubled terrorist tykes
and christs redemption

i worry about u
my kid who rehomed herself
there in a strangers house
that somehow feels like your very own

now again in the ER
angry i know
that u feel pain
like all of us

and i know about it
in spite of all ur efforts
at radio silence
i hear

one adam 12 – i adam 12
see the girl
see the girl

34 Responses to 'when i think of home …'

  1. suzy says:

    To Monica Shelley-judging from what you’ve read in a “newspaper”? It’s a tabloid rag! Where Chelsea said she would never go again & defended Rosie against erroneous attacks it inspired-like yours. Chelsea herself said Rosie wasn’t a bad Mom & now wanted privacy. Then Chelsea didn’t get what she wanted & went public again. NO ONE knew who Rosie referred to until BOTH Chelsea & HE went public on twitter. What I see is a touching poem from a loving Mom using tough love with a very difficult…

  2. Monica Shelley says:

    You are a cruel, selfish appalling mother. We have seen the texts you sent to her. A newspaper published them.
    You are only thinking about yourself all the time. No wonder Chelsea dones’t love you – nobody could. Just stop pressurizing her to go into therapy – you need it if anyone does. PAY for her to finish high school. You can afford it.
    And take these private details about her boyfriend’s family off this website. You have no right at all to publish them.

  3. Marie Cataldi says:

    Always remember the love you have inside. Sometimes it cannot be returned but your love of others defines you. Never give up and hold the love close.

  4. Candace Pfau says:

    That photograph takes me back to a moment when my eight year old just adopted daughter saw a movie of her three pre school brothers walking down to the ocean on Sanibel Island Fl and whispered, “I wish I was there too.” And I cried in the dark and whispered, “me too, me too.” She is so out of control.

  5. This takes me right back to that moment when my heart broke into pieces. I was invited to her wedding. She went through some bad boys but married a nice guy. When she had her first child the healing began. She understands now how as a parent we just do the best we can and then let them go.

  6. Joan says:

    Been where you are now.

    Motherly love for our children is instinctual and unconditional; both joyful and painful.

    They can hate us, vilify us and tear our guts out. And still, when they reach out to us, we give them refuge from their self-inflicted storms. It’s unconditional.

    We love them back to life, at our own risk. Because we know our life became their lifeline when we became their Mom.

    Hugs to you, Rosie.

  7. Laura says:

    Eloquent and piercing as always. Sharing your pain, Rosie.

  8. T/S says:

    You are such a prolific writer. I can feel your words as if they are tactile. I’m sorry you are going through this. I hope you find a way to have a Merry Christmas with your little family. Much love and peace to you my friend. <3

  9. suzy says:

    Wow! Wish I could so succinctly capture a moment of so much emotion, so beautifully & eloquently. Someone described it as cryptic??! Only to one who hasn’t witnessed the genuinely huge heart you’ve displayed for years. Needing & possessing wisdom of the ages to withstand such public scrutiny to remain courageously honest, even as your heart is breaking. I commend you for always daring to speak up & do what you think is right- no matter how difficult it may be, when your heart is moved to do…

  10. M C says:

    My daughter left home the night of her 18th birthday with a boy we didn’t approve of. We saw the real him. She saw the only one that loved her. No curfews, no rules. She didn’t speak to us for 7 months. We tried…nothing. Then I got the call. I got there in less than 6 minutes. She had no friends. She lived in squalor. He beat her…again. She came home to unconditional, real, true love. I hope she realizes it too. I know she will. HUGS for the pain I know all too well. Prayers.

  11. Kto says:

    And you will continue to give her the code so long as it does not harm. Everyday the joy/pain. Most days I wonder and ask why. Peace

  12. Colleen724 says:

    Beautiful, insightful, painful, loving, feeling, acknowledging.

    Thinking of you and your family – sending love and peace.

  13. Donna says:

    Family, the source of love and pain.
    Wishing you peace through the holidays.
    Try to be present for the others, and hopeful for the strayed.

  14. anthula says:

    Rosie,would it help you to know that you are not alone? That while we are not friends or even know each other, I think of you often and your family. When I was going through tough times with my daughter and I reached out here, to you, for some guidance, you gave it. So I would like to give it back and say. I love you, she loves you, don’t give up the fight. She will is good time realize that while she feels broken now, that she will be able to put herself back together.

  15. Kim says:

    when you are so sad and worried about her daughter, that your mind takes over your emotions and the words come tumbling out on paper, No one can truly know how much this has rendered your soul helpless. We can only pray and hope for a reunion because love is waiting for her. The world has so much sadness and violence, the only true safety in your life and others is family.

  16. Flodibo says:

    Heart wrenching words Rosie — the pain overwhelming — hoping and praying she will see the error of her ways. Peace out, my dear Rosie.

  17. Katie says:

    The old saying, “if you Love something set it free if it comes back to you it’s yours if not it was never meant to be ” Comes to my mind. When they are legally adults they must learn from their own mistakes. She will, in time. All you can really do is pray. Hugs Rosie!

  18. Lori says:

    I am going to tell you a little story that hopefully will make you feel a little better.My best friend Eric is adopted.He was adopted at 7 days.His adopted Dad was an alcoholic and abused him growing up, putting him in the hospital several times.When he was a teenager he rebelled, started stealing and wound up in prison.His Dad finally stopped drinking and was there for him.He got out, found his true love, had 3 beautiful children and is the kindest, most honest man I know. It will get better!

  19. Theresa Gelso says:

    Beautiful Momma!

  20. Amy Marion says:

    I’m so sorry for your pain, Rosie. I believe she will return. Make sure she knows that the door is open whenever she’s ready. Our kids don’t realize how much they can hurt us. It’s the cost of being a parent, I guess.

  21. Sandy says:

    I can feel you reaching for her, trying to rescue her from herself. I am amazed at how much of yourself you expose to the world, we all feel your pain and hers. Only true love can cut us so deeply. It is difficult to surrender, to forgive the wrongs we feel inside but it sets us free. Let go, but be the soft landing. Treasure every moment, every opportunity to just be.

  22. D Arangio says:

    “There in a strangers house that feels like your very own.”
    Powerful, you really understand what she feels but I think you focus on your feelings & not hers.Like any relationship when you are disrespected it cuts deeper then a knife, its hard to get it back to what it once was. After I lecture my boys I always end it with no one loves u more then me! she feels loved & so she feels at home! Watch the bold & beautiful thanks giving dinner listen to Maya & her father. It will never be the same…

  23. Bonnie says:


  24. Kim says:

    Your pain is palpable. I understand. So much pain and suffering in this world most days I can’t deal. I have 4 children through adoption and the oldest is 18. He’s ready to leave. He is diagnosed with RAD. That 20/20 special was heinous and infuriated me. Not even close to our reality. Anyway, much love to you and you’re family. Somehow we go on.

  25. Rose says:

    Wow! Rosie that poem is both beautiful and heartbreaking. Good for you that you can express yourself this way.

  26. Leesa Riopel says:

    I know lots of people that are one person at work and another at home, but if the person you show us is the real you, then I think she may just need time. On the other hand maybe you will have to learn to be content with knowing that you did a good job raising her, gave her core values, know she’s intelligent and ultimately she will be okay with or without you, maybe you’re done parenting for now. Not forever but for now. I am now a parent but was once a rebellious teen. Sad but beautiful poem

  27. Suzan says:

    Because of your gifts you’ve become one yourself…..truly.

  28. Peggy says:

    Amazing poem. So moving. She will come home.

  29. Katrina says:

    Your words are so powerful, they leave me speechless. Peace and Light.

  30. Eileen says:

    Powerful words Rosie……life is beautiful and hard all at the same time,… as the wife of a kind and honorable police sergeant I thank your son for his support….all lives matter, right?

  31. Candace Pfau says:

    Three years I went without her voice, lived it. prayed each night. What else could I do? she kept in touch with her older brother lived with friends then with a mom substitute. Her big brothers best friends mom. She accepted her where as she never accepted me. I understood in a way someone had to pay for the loss of control in her life for the loss of her foster family her birth family it’s all good now we may never have that maternal bond but we care we are friends we hug hello and goodbye

  32. Kelly Walters says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. Your strength gives me strength too. My heart has felt the same ache. I send love and light to you and your family. Healing will come I know. I do not know you personally. I see pictures of your family. I read the words you write. The feelings give me such a connection to you. My words are not poetic like yours, but I hope you feel the love and understanding I send to you. I hope you feel peace Rosie.

  33. Aubrey says:

    Did Rosie write this??

  34. Tracy Elliott says:

    JUST WOW! Any plans to write a book of poetry and maybe illustrate them yourself?