“In my unresisting picture, all love seen
All said is dented love’s saluted image“
This line from beat poet, Bernadette Mayer, calls out to me from her book, Midwinter Day, written on the shortest day of the year; a mother with two small children wrote an entire book in one day. Cataloging every thought, every image and scene, beginning with waking from a dream, flitting from one moment to the next, as a mother’s life does, yet still missing many it is an epic memoir/poem streamed from what might be her subconscious.
But what is dented love’s saluted image?
What can it be, but motherhood?
This image, my mother, my three daughters, each born in different decades, and myself, calls me out too. So today, I’m putting them together. A line-up.
Almost 10 years ago, before I left California, I asked my mother and my oldest daughter to join me and my two younger daughters for a photo. I thought it might look like the same, or a similar woman in five stages. But it looks more like a mug shot line-up… Who is the guilty party?
Mothers and daughters. Roles we are cast in… Three of us are both mother and daughter. And now I am a motherless child.
“In the ending morning, nothing said is mean,
Perhaps it’s too long, I’m only learning
Along with love’s warning
To invent a song…
Can we trust words to hold the baby now?”
…Are you a mother? or a child? or a motherless child?
Rock yourself with words you write, a love letter to your best self.
Happy Mother’s Day