Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The Prodigal Wife

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I went to the garden to look for what I had lost.
The beauty berry, the red peppers, the moss --
all greeted me as I walked
through the green October -- blooming and dying --
garden.

               And there were children.
The voices of them, learning to speak,
returned me to the memory of my own breast milk
which I'd spilled, happily, here
in this garden.

                         That was a long time ago.
And here, in the autumn, I return, again and again,
to the smell of the rose,
craving something sweet in the midst
of all this seeding.

                              I sit, alone,
near the canna in bloom, and prepare to lie down
with my husband, his face like the rosemary
that scratches my fingers, his lips
like the hardy marigold that tickles my skin
as I kiss the green and the smell remains
on my hands long after I return from the garden,
long after the garden
                                      teaches me how to begin again.


Cassie Premo Steele, Ph.D. is the author of 13 books, most recently Earth Joy Writing. The book includes writing prompts for every month of the year, plus audio meditations and video workshops. She teaches an innovative online course combining mindfulness and feminist theory for women academics called The Feminar. Cassie is currently working on a memoir about how coming out returned her to her mother and her faith.


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