Sunday, June 6, 2010

Poem of the Month: May

Oops. I missed May's poem of the month. Here's a poem I've been thinking about recently and that I meant to post as poem of the month around Mother's Day.

by Linda Lancione Moyer

Standing in the garden,
left hand laden
with ripe strawberries. The sun

beams off the glassy
backs of flies. Three
birds in the birch tree.

They must have been there
all year.

My mother, my grandmother,
stood like this
in their gardens,

I am 43.
This year I have planted my feet
on this ground

and am practicing
growing up out of my legs
like a tree.

To me, this poem is about a persona who is planting herself in the traditions of the women who have gone before her. She is finally paying attention, noticing birds that must have been there before. She is finally listening (the name of the poem). To me, this poem seems to have an air of peacefulness and acceptance in its ending. When I think about this poem in relation to Mother's Day, I think of myself, planting my own feet in motherhood, trying to be the solid tree for my children, and turning to/listening to so many other women in my life for help in this task. I also think that the challenges of mothering and of trying to figure out how to merge different aspects of my identity with my mothering make me feel very much like the persona describes in the last stanza: Having firmly planted myself in this role, I am "practicing" growing and emerging in this ground that I have chosen.

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