A fence, row of bare-branched thin-trunked trees across a field. A margin. Standing still like your underarm hair crushed in summer sweat. The fence, chain link. A tree overarching weaves out towards the frame – arms, or torqued limbs ajar. A door open. Light filtered soft and hard edge. A day of what it means to look out of focus. The tree, skin of dark shadows, awaits a poet’s fine pen. To draw.
A tree, a clearing broken open by limbs stretched out to almost touch the houses. Domestic surround and a sky so low down here to settle in – clouds almost adrift between branches. The canopy carved into this tiny fretwork of life beings wintering over. A shadow on teeth ground erases fine distinctions.
Whirling dervish of blur, the camera’s eye skirting full-blown canopy into memory of movement. Burst stretch marks of time caught up in motion rolling over to meet another branch. The space between mimics the underground network of fungal speech.
Winter storm. A clearing. The dog. Memory of bark. Claws dig into soil, uproot grass on the edge, a trunk. Spindly bark story of meadow’s surround. An upturned bonnet, the splayed branch of ventricular stretch. The writer moves forward to enter in, disappears behind a forest of limbs.
Upside of this under, a gasp of look exists somewhere between sky and canopy. The child’s memory bank prepares the writer for this moment. Return to the climb: one foot and arms limbering up. To ache for the arch of foliage.
Bird on a wire careens through the lineup. Linked layers of up. A carved out horizon stutters to the bottom of trunk.
And grass, snow-scarred scrap.
(improvisations with thanks to Margaret Christakos)
excerpt …No mother is a cliché
For many reasons, it might have been easier for me to celebrate a commemoration of women’s pacifism and civic contributions while I was growing up. When I was in my teens and 20s, I found Mother’s Day particularly difficult. The social expectations around the holiday seemed to revolve around honouring a type of Leave it to Beaver domestic goddess. I could never find a card that could even start to describe the complex feelings I had about my complex mother. We had a challenging relationship. Even though I deeply respected and admired her devotion to medicine, her hard work and many talents in making music and art, I mostly tried to stay out of her way, leery of her sudden rages and tirades. Even back then, I realized she was parenting as best as she could with no parenting role models herself. During her childhood, her own mother had disliked her for being a daughter and had little to do with her upbringing. And my maternal grandmother in turn had been sold as a young girl by my great-grandmother, her mother. My class-conscious paternal grandmother was distant and disapproving.
As a result, I grew up somewhat alienated from the inherent glorification and idealization of motherhood embodied in Mother’s Day, forced to profess sentiments I didn’t necessarily feel, while being riddled with guilt for not feeling them.
When I became a mother myself, I questioned gender stereotypes and the unequal division of domestic duties the same way my own mother did, but gained a deeper understanding of the significance, challenges and pleasures of parenthood from the years of sleepless nights to the delights of receiving another bouquet of freshly plucked dandelions. Perhaps Anna Jarvis was right that greeting cards could never suffice: no parent can be reduced to a few cliché-ridden stanzas in a store-bought card….
via The Tyee – Mother’s Day’s Radical Roots.