I fear I haven’t learned the art of mothering yet,
have gathered no great pearls of wisdom to spill out
as gifts for your arrival. I’ve penned no lofty charge
to give you that could carry you bright-eyed and blameless
through the world that knocks, even now, impatient
on the walls of your hermitage. But I can tell you this:
beware the urge to answer its call in haste, my love.
Steep yet a while, safe beneath my heart – the world
will wait for you to knit cell to cell, build bone and tooth
and all the sticky filaments and sinews that bloom beneath
skin still translucent as the finest linen weave.
When it’s time to seek the air, you’ll know.
For dVerse Open Link Night
And The Sunday Whirl (prompt words: art, bone, pearls, filaments, sticky, call, skin, air, linen, charge, beware, cell, knocks)
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Do not mistake reticence for virtue, child –
My wish for you is not a safe life but one
Populated with burdens of your own choosing,
Unforeseen perhaps but developing naturally
Along the route you have taken into the wider world.
You’ll find their weight of diminishing importance
When measured against the poetry of
The road that stretches before you,
Its coquettish bends and slopes obscuring
The terrain that will meet your steps
In the many days to come.
Then, whether you find yourself overwintering
In many-roomed palace or sodden ditch, you will
Nonetheless rest easy, drunk if not on wine then with
The heady conviction that whatever you may lack,
At least the life that you have lived has been your own.
And when at last your path breaks upon the
Shoreline of some unspeakably vast ocean,
You will find yourself well-prepared to taste
The saline tang of the surf that will surely
Bear you breathless into a new adventure.
For dVerse Open Link Night
And The Sunday Whirl (Prompt words: ditch, palace, virtue, bends, wish, steps, burden, poetry, diminishing, room, drunk, breaks)
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There is an absence in my belly
Where you do not grow.
My arms throb with your not-weight.
I cannot smell your fresh-milk scent.
My ears ache for want of your cries.
My aging eyes, probing crowds for you,
Glimpse only transitory echoes of your smile
In the faces of children who belong to other women.
Still, I wait.
This was written some time ago, but felt a little too raw to post for a while. Things have changed in recent months, and it finally feels ok to put out into the world. I’m not waiting anymore. Or, more precisely, will be waiting for just four more months.
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To the woman who remarked loudly to her friends
When she saw me walking against the red last week,
Well, at least some of us know our colors -
I forgive you for needing so badly to feel good
That rather than choosing a kinder response
You decided to trumpet my small transgression
So you could publicly place yourself above me
And enjoy a few precious moments of superiority.
Though it was only a small meanness you offered,
It lingered with me for the rest of the afternoon.
But I know that emptiness inside, that fear, oh yes.
It skulks too in the dimmer reaches of my own soul.
So, sister of my smaller self, I wish you only peace,
Only happiness, and someday soon an awakening
To a life of greater compassion -
And I thank you, too, for offering hearty fuel
For my own rekindling.
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She was promised in a dream that
One could learn to run so swift and pure
That her ears would attune to a
Single divine note, the sound
Of the world itself singing.
But unused to pushing past the
Boundaries of fleshly comfort,
She earned only bitter breathlessness,
Immutable proof of lack of fitness for
The gift of that elusive music.
Today she stands among the throng
Gathered at the marathon’s end,
Seeking in each passing runner’s glance
Evidence of the enlightenment denied her.
If you should see her there, be kind.
For Poetic Bloomings prompt – It Makes Sense
Posted in poetry | 3 Comments »
Tonight again you set out to write
But the page still yawns before you.
Nothing works and you can tell
That every mark you make is wrong.
But then somehow your lungs discern
Within the enveloping everyday air
A more vital new oxygen.
You inhale – it fills you.
Oh yes, you were born to be a vessel,
To cradle the sky itself within you
For one impossibly pregnant moment.
You can see its glow beneath your skin.
Your fingers begin to tingle,
Your heart quickens its cadence,
Your scalp tightens around your skull.
And now – the words come.
Posted in poetry | 6 Comments »