I am a mother
Though you are dead
I pretend otherwise
You feel me in that place that you are
And I sense you
In the small hands of my neighbor’s boy
In my urge to protect and let
Not one moment of harm befall
As if it were you, the ache inside
Sat next to me eating brunch
The waitress charmed by your precociousness
You don’t remind me a bit of myself
Just as my mother thought me a changeling
Who was the fair child she birthed? She wondered
Closing the door and walking into another universe
Away from the scold of maternity
It suited her to wear boob tubes and dance at 3am
Not wipe snot and vomit from the car seat.
And I see nothing of me in you
You eclipse a generation
Returning to be her and a little of your father
He had eyes that swallowed me whole
When I moved in his arms and invariably
He took and took and took
He also gave a little something of himself
Unwillingly in that hour before savagery
Even sadists have their moments of foreplay
It’s how they build to a crescendo
It’s how we fall for their slick words and
He filled me with you and underneath the green dress
I could see you swell and rise on the tide of my brine
Before the stairs before the marble
Cool on my burst cheek and the pattern of scarlet
He led me in oxblood to that single moment
We could have all ended there
With the moon ripe and redolent behind us
The smell of candle wax heavy on our hems.
There is no way to undo the circles
Looping through memory like planets fractured against starlight
There is only the clenched fist and a jump
Free wheeling in air, suspended
He watches with apocalypse eyes as I give birth
To the emptiness afterwards
Because his vision is winking out
Through time as we catapult and swing low
He tells me; you haven’t changed, your skin is still firm
And I splinter there in this path of thorns
The beating is joining bruises like daisy chains
You gave me life and then, bending close
Took it away with a snap of your callused fingers
We lie beneath the elm tree with our name carved
And you drink from my breast a milk of sorrow
I wanted you all to myself is your buttoned apology
It does not last .. it comes with the sharp pull on all fours
More hurt than can be described by sign and movement
Bearing a child and starting over bloodless
In one shattered moment
Leaning towards stairwell
Seeing you waiting
43 thoughts on “Maternal instinct”
I’m awash in emotions.
So moving Feathers, amazing and stunning. x
This was one I was proud of and I am rarely proud of what I write but I really think it was honest and beautiful in that sad way us poetry lovers sometimes relish. Thank you dearest Holly for reading and liking it. It means a lot to me coming from you beautiful girl
You have the gift Feathers.
This was excellent. Poignant. Beautiful.
One who would somewhat later become girlfriend and (briefly) fiance, gave a pet name to the life growing within her (not kin to me), the child she, unready to mother, would bear and give away. Time and distance took us far from contact for many years, but I saw that pet name, that encoded memorial, in an email address and knew it could belong to no other. I think I understand why she has kept that name active, but I think you understand far more deeply.
Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
TheFeatheredSleep – Maternal Instinct to be sure.
And you should be proud of it!
We both do. Men can be as grieving as women over what life gives and takes away. She’s lucky she had you. You’re one of the good ones.
Ditto my talented sista 💓
The echo of these words are clanging against my rib cage. You write with your soul, and you’re so beautiful. ❤
to hard to fathom by most.
You made me sway with happiness reading this. Thank you glimmering girl, you honor me.
💓 don’t forget to update us on your blog my friend 💓
Stunning. Be rightly proud x
You’re welcome, always. Sending you all my love!
Thank you my friend 💓
Getting a Kindra comment makes my day thank you my friend 💓💓💓
🦄🌈 Here is a unicorn for you. ❤
Thanks. We weren’t together long, but she went on a few years later to marry another Bob, and when he died after a long, good time, she found another Bob and they seem happy. They were/are good ones too and once we reestablished contact though that email address a few years ago, we’re still friends.
There’s a superb 3 Bob’s poem in that story, write it!!!
Hmmm – maybe so – maybe so 🙂
Do it! It would be terrific
You’ve accomplished a miracle with this transcendent embodiment of grief…
So tragically sad, and so beautifully written ♡
This is poignant homage to the many unsung losses and grief. So much has not been acknowledged – till now
This void you describe. It is so felt.
I know it well.
Grief upon grief upon grief . . . Why? Because we love . . .
Haunting and brutally beautiful 💛💗
Wonderfully poignant a beautiful piece of work! so full of emotion
Thank you so very much!
Thank you very much
Sending you a huge hug my beautiful friend
💓 thank you dearest lady
Thank you brother
Thank you so much dear one
So powerful and heart wrenching…
Thank you dear one thank you
Comments are closed.