April 17 Poetry: Sharon Olds, The Mother

It has been a couple of days since I have had the time or energy to put a blog post together. Working in Christian ministry makes the last two weeks of Lent CRAZY. I am very ready for Easter!

About poetry...I really adore poetry anthologies. That way I don't have to commit to one author. I'm the nerdy person who buys Norton anthologies for personal pleasure rather than class- they of course- have a bright orange tag on the binding that says "used."

Here is a poem from my most favorite anthology and from a poet whose Wikipedia biography is worth reading. I've got to read more of her stuff! Hopefully this month won't fizzle like February's "I love" did.

So here is a poem about motherhood. After a day of leaving church before the gospel was finished, giggling on the floor in the evening, and snuggles for the bed I am feeling the dynamisms of motherhood

Children out there (aren't we all children) what do you think? Mothers?

The Mother

In dreamy silence after bath,
hot in the milk-white towel, my son
announces that I will not love him when I'm dead
because people can't think when they're dead. I can't
think at first- not love him? The air outside the
window is very black, the old locust
beginning to lose its leaves already...
I hold him tight, he is white as a buoy
and my death like dark water is rising
swiftly in the room. I tell him I loved him
before he was born. I do not tell him
I'm damned if I won't love him after I'm
dead, necessity after all being
the mother of invention.

-Sharon Olds

Ochester, Ed,. Oresick, Peter eds. The Pittsburgh Book of Contemporary American Poetry, (University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 1993)


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