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Another Poem for Mothers

Mother, I’m trying

to write

a poem to you-

which is how most

poems to mothers must

begin -or, What I’ve wanted

to say, Mother… but we

as children of mothers,

even when mothers ourselves,

cannot bear our poems

to them. Poems to

mothers make us feel

little again. How to describe

that world that mothers spin

and consume and trap

and love us in, that spreads

for years and men and miles?

Those particular hands that could

smooth anything: butter on bread,

cool sheets or weather. It’s

the wonder of them, good or bad,

those mother-hands that pet

and shape and slap,

that sew you together

the pieces of a better house

or life in which you’ll try

to live. Mother,

I’ve done no better

than the others, but for now,

here is your clever failure.

from InfantaFind it in the library

Copyright © 1995 Erin Belieu
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Erin Belieu Poems

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