Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Passage

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Momma, dearest to my sister-
hood, and door
upon which I lean my ear,
listen for whispers,

I know of whom
you never speak,
your voice a dove's wing.
Momma, Momma,

how do I begin
to tell you
that I need
the chaos of my calm?

The storm outside
would never come,
nor cease to pound,
if the wind did not have its way --

push, pull, push, pull.
I need some kind
of randomness to my order.
Please allow me time

to bay at my lunatic moon;
my jaws ache for closure.
Momma, Momma,
I stand just outside your door,

clinging like milk
to the bottom of your glass.
Give me the absence
of your presence.

No seeds would form
if the May flowers never stopped
blooming long enough for the color
wash to leave their cheeky petals

and sneak out the red October door
with the hurried taffeta rustle
that a hem makes
as it catches on rough stones.

Momma, Momma, I know you
want to hold me. I feel the ache
in your arms, the whiff
of wind as I pull away.

Close your eyes before they come undone.
I can't take you with me this time;
as I learn to walk, to run,
I will fall. I must fall.

Momma, Momma,
I come running to you,
my mouth full of marbles --
round words which roll

beneath our feet -- and we dance
in circles, our arms wide,
slip on glinting cats eyes,
reach for the space between us.

My dry face takes a cool slide
on your breast of green satin;
I look for the tears you hide
from me like eggs on Easter.

Momma, Momma,
let me swim in your lake of sleep,
make the sound of rain
on a tin roof, tiptoeing

over the rafters where I try
to force my lids closed
so I may re-enter the dream
where I saw you once --

like dust in the sun, the static
pulls me into the place where the deepest
bruises find their darkest blue
before they turn black.


Trish Lindsey Jaggers’ poems appear or are forthcoming in Clackamas Literary Review, Red Rock Review, Earth’s Daughters, WordWrights! Magazine, The Tobacco Anthology, Zephyrus, Red River Review, and in the books Blue Moon Rising: Kentucky Women in Transition, edited by Jennie L. Brown (Turner Publishing, 2001), and Writing Who We Are: Poems by Kentucky Feminists by Elizabeth Oakes and Jane Olmsted (WKU, 1999). She was an editor for Zephyrus, Western Kentucky University’s annual literary publication, for three years. She recently won the WKU Jim Wayne Miller Poetry Award for 2002. She belongs to the International Women’s Writing Guild. Currently, she assists the director of the Women’s Studies Program at Western Kentucky University. She’s married with two children — a son, Scott and a daughter, Bridgette.


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