Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Poem: "On Children and Mothers"

Your fervent hopes that I write
“something about children”
is a mother’s nature revealed.
By their selfless love
they second their lives to those of their children.
To write of children is to write of mothers.

Five years of life stares down
through coal buttons of mischief and wonders,
Are these groggy, surly people
really in control of the world out there?
The world of five is bound by a desire
for no boundaries,
to be with the big people,
but there are compensations for masks
and early bedtimes: shielded
from the jags and gouges of a world
outside Transformers, morning TV, Bubble-O-Bills,
kindergarten Picassos and a mother’s love.

Six months of life
represents the investment of a lot of breast milk
as he gurgles in his bouncer
throwing a curve ball smile
through his rusk-besmirched mouth.
His perimeters are smaller than his brother’s,
wind and tears and the succour of the breast
while the faces of giants fill his vision
and huge hands lift him skyward.

And always there is mother,
balancing her day with theirs,
shepherding, nurturing, cajoling them
towards that, over which she has no control:
the future.

In 1986, I was staying for a couple of weeks with my cousin and his wife in Sydney en route to Perth. Their two sons described in this poem are now fine, young adults, forging their way in the world.

The poet wishes to acknowledge One Luv Art Promotion, the publishers of the book, Mother and Child Vibration Heart exhibition, in which this poem first appeared.

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