It's just poetry, it won't bite


10.01.09 Posted in today's words by

Lani has taken us inside the heart of a mother watching her free time
evaporate when her son shows surprising skill at bat (First Practice).
Today she takes us several steps back and then brings us well forward
to cast an eye to the arc of motherhood. Read this and then read her
blog, Remains of the Day,
where you can check out her zine, GEMINI, and keep posted on her other
publications. This poem feels so right at this turn of season, when we
are reminded that living in the moment seems out of reach because we
are often too busy reaching ahead or behind to fully grasp the present.

By Andrea Lani

Rocking in the antique chair,
full-moon round belly,
she waits, and waits, and waits,
for what will come next,
pink-limbed crying baby.
She bundles him to her breast,
whispers, “Be still, be still.”
Limbs grow fat and long and strong,
search out sharp things, spill milk.
She breathes in deep and chants
a mantra in her head, “Be patient,
be patient.” Limbs keep growing,
and the tongue too. She endures
the screaming phase,
the lying phase,
the backtalk phase,
the never-stop-talking phase,
the gruff-and-grunt phase.
Endures also the broken
china, elbows everywhere, sweaty
socks, vanishing food. And then one
day he’s gone, and she paces the floor,
listlessly, picking up broken matchbox
car, putting down old soccer trophy,
the quiet throbbing in her head. She
settles in the rocking chair, its old
wood creaking into the silence.

One Response to “Abide”

  1. holmes says:

    Good stuff. Thanks for sharing. Great portrait of motherhood.

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