Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
In Your Words

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If I had known who you would be,
I would have named you something primal,
for you are rooted deeper than love,
tramping through these trails with wild arms, wild hair.
I would have named you for your body of willow,
because like your bow,
which trembles and curves with power,
you forgive the crush of us.
If I had known, I would have read every creation story—
for you are Raven, Ymir, Gaea—
and named you something to fill emptiness.

But I did not know, and you name yourself every day,
stuffing your pockets with rocks, old man’s beard,
a squirrel’s cache of spruce cones.
In your hands is a stick from the weald—
to bang, to whittle, to hold you up as we walk.
Sometimes there is silence between us,
sometimes I want you to know your world in words.
What is our environment, I ask?
You look out to the masses of moss
and scaling spruce, the light streaming between limbs.
Beauty, you reply.


Mistee St. Clair was born and raised in Alaska, with a few years here and there in other parts of the Pacific Northwest. She’s been published by the Fairbanks Arts Association, the Alaska Dispatch News, Tidal Echoes and Cirque. She loves to get out of town, or out into the woods, and somehow spends an absurd amount of time in the kitchen. Currently she lives, writes, mothers and hikes her dog in beautiful, foggy Juneau.


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