Mother's Memories

Mother, are your memories with me somehow?

In the living of your life--

the times body and mind united to produce power and beauty,

the moments of longing for the joy of being, the histories you've invented of your travels and adventures--

did you ever imagine that I might come from within you

and share the breath of your life, the dreams of your life,

bound by a common cord of one life to another?

Day by day now your memories of my life, your life, our lives,

are shared by innocence and experience.

The first long looks, the awe-filling gaze of peace,

the heart-melting look of love,

the furious cry of confusion,

the quizzical blink and the weariness of the body--

all combine with what you've already lived,

what you know.

But what's new to me is new for you

and love is the point I've come to.

My body molds smoothly to your arms, hands, and breasts,

and we rest in tenderness, in the care and respect

you take for all the cares we share.

So for a while anyway

I will return your memories with mine

as we pass through this time.

by John Flanigan

Tired Light

hovers above the bottle-green hills

a clear membrane flecked with the last faint

irritation of the sunset.

It's the way the light hangs on

that moves me.

It's the way our lives hang on,

my friend in the hospital bed turning to me

her pale glowing face and lightless

eyes, joking, when they lay me

six feet under, I guess

I'll be sorry. Her thoughts trail off

beyond the white walls of her room,

examining her children's futures

in a clear light. Even when she sleeps,

her hands keep moving, tying up

all loose ends. I think

of the heavy tired legs of a woman

mounting stairs, groceries in her arms,

of a woman's hands

stocking a refrigerator,

pasting a postcard of flowers

over a small bed. Somewhere

in this city under the hills,

a woman I passed on the street

is doing these things,

her pulse ticking evenly as a wind-up clock,

her cells still perfectly matched

like the pinked wheels

behind the clockface. She is counting

all the reason to go on.

Sing Heavenly Muse!

Womensong, 1990

by Elizabeth Gargano

Mom's Eye View

For Anne

I walk behind you,

watch your insouciant woman-ness

stroll languidly

down the beach.

Waves wreathe around your ankles

as you bend to pick up shells,

put some in your pockets,

cast others away.

Long silky blond hair.

Perfect breasts, recently ripe.

Legs that stretch

from America's upper edge

to the Gulf of Mexico.

A wondrous continent

wrapped in translucent

Scandinavian skin.

I walk

and I walk

and I wonder.

by Karen Senne Wallace

Letting Go

Too big now for your allotted space,

you burrow deep into my pelvis

Your curved spine lies along my left side,

your bottom just under my heart

You swirl and swish,

stretching your legs out

and under my rib cage,

pushing your butt against

my giving stomach

You have become contemplative

regarding your situation

You wait and listen,

sure of impending change,

certain you need a bigger room

Our time of shared existence

is nearly over

Now I must set you loose

into the world,

in a rush of liquid and light

commotion and pain

Do not be afraid little one,

I will catch you in my arms

My skin will warm you,

my breast feed you,

my hands and lips caress you

into sweet sleep

You will breathe me in deep

and know I am your mother

by Heidi Van Dixhorn

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