Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day, Mom

It seems true to me that I love my mother even more now that I, too, am a parent. Perhaps it's empathy, that I better understand what it is to be a mother. More likely it's that my mother's mothering of me has new dimensions and feels so crucial and tender since I've had children.

Since becoming a mommy, I found I need my mommy even more. And I'm lucky she's here, close, so very available to me and my family and my children. It's impossible to articulate how that feels: perhaps like deep limitless gratitude, all the time. And a little like worship.

I wrote this poem for my mother after the birth of my first daughter (incidentally, I submitted it to a magazine for possible publication, and received a very kind REJECTION letter in return).

I love you, Mom.


In winter when the ground lay cold and fallow,
we parted earth and nestled a bulb within.
You found the empty seed packets
and a trowel, loamy with hope.

You watched as in spring the ground swelled with promise, and green shoots—petals pledging to unfold, a bud concealing bloom’s hues—
burst gently from the soil,
slowly arching sunward.
You spoke to me of climate zones and the wisdom of the land, of letting roots and rain commingle, free from fumbling human hands—
gardening, to you, as familiar as green grass and blue sky.

Ripe summer produced our blossom, sweet and small and
named for you,
a flower in a garden you still water with counsel.
A stem extends and leaves proliferate
as we prune cautiously,
striving to remember our own cultivation.

You, Master Gardener, nurture me anew in the nurturing of another,
the perennial love
of flower to blossom to bud.

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