I’ve been slow about the blog lately. The perils of paid work: It’s hard to get to the unpaid work, even if you love both. I did write this poem for my mom’s birthday and thought I’d share because, well, motherhood.
I’m doing a series on my feelings concerning the gravitas of parenting. The pressure, the responsibility. The way babies stick to you. The way toddlers orbit your ankles in the kitchen. Ad infinitum. You may be subject to reading them as well.
Happy Birthday, Mom!
by Lauren McClain
for my mother, my daughter, and their mothers
My book says the Pacific Ocean was born
Billions of years ago when a piece of the Earth
Came out and became the moon.
The rough moon-child unfolded, winging through atmosphere
And is still out there, not far, walking around–
Around and around as we watch, turning.
Kept close with an invisible weight, an anchor
A root, pulled true and fast to home–
The rhythm of the stars breathes a reaching path.
Having a child is like this: a piece of self in orbit
A piece of yourself that doesn’t belong to you
But is made of you, made by you.
Inside, an empty place is dug out and
Everyday, a piece of your heart pulls in–
The tide pulsing with life, beauty, salt and deep.
Warmed by the same light–gone but not gone–
A child is pulled into a rhythm of reaching
Leaving an empty place–space–a home.
And that’s how oceans are made.