"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Friday, May 6, 2011

Poetry Friday: A Mother Poem

Happy Poetry Friday everyone! Today I am covering another topic that I've wanted to for ages but found intimidating: a mother poem. Just like love poetry it is so hard to not end up sound syrupy or fake, a plastic shell of an intended sentiment instead of a personal, glinting bit of type. Happy Mother's Day to all my sisters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and sweet boo boo kissing friends! The thankless job we're doing everyday is the kind of thing only the beauty of tiny human lives can be created from. xoxo and "Keep on!"

My parents.

My mom, on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of her favorite places.

Maternal Society

My mother took all her children to hunt the wild blackberry
Her trick: velvet maple leaves tucked in our baskets open corners,
Cleverly locking the heaped glistening purple deposit within.
She could fearlessly pluck the vicious vines about the waist and swing
Them like nodding, barbed, construction cranes to hook wherever she chose.
So, we walked trustingly behind her through the briar patch on dry land,
A wall of canes and thorns on either side that could not touch us.
As long as we closely followed the floating knot of her upswept hair.
She dug wild bluebells from the roadside to fill her newlywed garden
Carrying a spade in the trunk and chinking wedges of hardy native beauty
Off for herself,a small bit of hope carried home in a five gallon bucket.
She plunked them into beds of hostile, red clay, gum beneath her nails
Then knowingly layered them with leaves and manure year upon year
Until the clay caved and became soft devil's food between her fingers,
The soil, host to a merry, marching army of bluebells and their kin
Tumbling eagerly as she instructed to the very stone borders of gardendom.
She taught me how to hold a chef knife, intimately,by its silver haunches
As though I had no fear and owned its sharp power, then rocking fluidly  
The blade licking the cutting board with a steady knocking whir
The same rythmn as her sewing machine, thumping energetically along,
Her needle a miniature late night beacon in the back of our log house
Flashing updates to the moon about whatever she was lashing together
For her daughters while they slept: a dream, a dress, a doxology.
A younger version of my mom with my only brother as a tot.

Mama, winter portrait.

Visit the Poetry Friday host for more delicious poems.
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