Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Bridal Wreath

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So much bloom and naked dawn, stalk of yellow hair and slender arc of back,
your small figure a leaf, rain soaked and splendid, surrounded by bellflowers

and toadflax, thistle and jewelweed, touch-me-not yellow. You raise your hands,
turn on a heel, and shake into blossom. You ask me, "Do you know what Linus says?"

"When babies are born, they are so little and scared...they should be issued
a banjo." Amulet of laughter, chain of coral and pearl, weave of wood sorrel,

don't forget rosewater, don't forget peppermint, don't forget henna for the palms
of your hands. Little mother with cherry nipples, music of skipping, strange alchemy of my body,

what sleight of hand led me to you. Sorrow pure as fleabane, fallow ground for morning walks,
this is the place we go to see asters, multi-petaled head, disk and ray, magenta

and inexplicable leap into woman. How could I know blue tablecloths would spread open?
Had I only known my grief would be as abundant as clover, I would have looked on you

hour after hour, not lupines, not columbine, not looking away.


Renee Elton is a poet and teacher currently working on a manuscript of poems about American sculpture and design, in response to nature and ritual. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University, and she has a biology degree from Kent State University. She is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having taught science in Sierra Leone. Her recent publications include Serving House Journal and Snapping Twig, and she was featured in Every Writers Resource, Every Day Poems. Her two wonderful daughters work in NYC in literary endeavors.


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