Poem 141

We overcame our mothers

when we were sixteen and without child.

I watched the summers flutter on

A luna moth counting myself lucky

to hit the bulb again and again

to fall away unscathed once more—

We overcame our mothers.

In the back truck-beds of red

Pick-up grinds, where we bade

The same prayers and were protected.

Then we grew up—suddenly,

I was tonguing baby names

Out of joy instead of dread.

I am grateful, for us, to be twenty

To be hopeful for our wombs

To be lovely and plump with miracle.

We overcame our mothers; I hardly

felt the triumph, barely knew the ruse

that when we overcame our mothers,

we lost the our sovereign youth


Poem 73

I wish I could tell the girl of thirteen looking strangely like me
that the world turns on her finger and all she must do is want to spin it,
before that ache sets in for the whole of it to spin on its own,
I want to tell her: invest, take the thick prick of your finger and be brave.

But she won’t and neither would I. And so it goes that one president; the un-
nertia of the predictable. Give me a line and I’ll bend it; cannot convince
ourselves to crack old habits. We are rabbits with candy colored feet.
So lucky to be young, so young indeed.


Poem 73 RevisedPoem 73 Edited