Poets’ Corner: Bridger For Mother’s Day
Tick tock. It is very nearly time to celebrate Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, May 14. (Although we should celebrate moms everyday.)
It is also a day all mom’s who are mindful are reminded of time passing; little hearts growing, then scattering:
Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you’re two,
Turn around and you’re four,
Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door.
Turn around, turn around,
Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door…
Poet Kierstin Bridger’s version of the above chestnut is below.
(Note: And Kierstin is one of the Burl Gurrls appearing Saturday night, May 20, at Literary Burlesque, the signature event of the 4th annual Telluride Literary Arts Festival, May 19-21. For an overview of that event, go here. )
“The views of space and time which I wish to lay before you have sprung from the soil of experimental physics, and therein lies their strength. They are radical. Henceforth, space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.”
Our world was her skin—
the odditorium of creased lines
faint with milky perfume,
wrists as though tied with elastic,
whorls in her scalp like thumbprints, like fine galaxies,
and the soft spine of her back, the delicate fontanel
above a hint of widow’s peak.
What little there was of her neck,
we kissed, we inhaled. We collected
the sweet slippery bath of her, towel damp
curls reminiscent of reliquary locks.
It was like we had the keys to a temporary place,
a private realm to holiday within
for most of a year. We measured days
by inching out of the nursery,
her body finally at rest
after our barely recalled choruses,
after hummed lyrics out of tune.
We wrote on steamed mirrors,
recorded ornamented pages of milestones.
We boxed up infant to three-month clothes
and then the “up to six.” September became April,
became sappy toothsome months,
then weeks of totter and fall.
And here I am in this moment watching the past
through a viewfinder, through laugh lines,
while I pace on the treadmill.
She’s all layups and pop songs now.
She’s emoji texts and gym bags,
she’s acai berry shampoo
and gold glitter on her lashes,
don’t blink, don’t blink
my own mother whispers to me.
I say there is a speck in my eye,
perhaps sprung from a planet
of temporary physics.
(Printed first in Intimacy by Jacar Press 2015)