Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

This is the week we’re all thinking about new beginnings, of course, with 2012 just days away. I haven’t made any resolutions except for committing, I suppose, to greeting my fortieth birthday in August with a hospitable attitude.

When writing the “Eve” section of A Thousand Vessels, I of course explored all sorts of geneses. I imagined a suburban business park as a new, wild land; identified with Eve’s first experiences with marital discord and birth; and considered my own new beginnings in marriage and motherhood.

In “My Daughter’s Hands,” I recount a moment when I began to realize that my daughter was a separate entity ready to explore her own Eden of discovery without me. As I’m sure many parents will agree, these moments are bittersweet: we must allow our own “creations” to make their own choices, good or bad, with the beautiful freedom God affords.

My Daughter’s Hands

When did you hatch these pink birds
that alight on everything in the house?
They land on power cords and houseplants,
perch between the window blinds.

At communion, I hold you on my lap
as I take a cup from the silver tray.
Every muscle in your body strains.
You want nothing more in this world,
love nothing as you love this purple vial.
Color swims there. Light bounces.
You whimper, stretch and shriek.

People turn. Yet I know the moment I say no
your world will begin to go wrong.
You will learn that most bright things
are never meant to be touched
and have purposes other than your joy.
You will learn the tension in my neck
as I shake my head to the beautiful movements
of your flesh. You will swim against
the current of my voice jutted with stone eyes.
And eventually, even when we embrace,
a curtain will fall between us
like the thinnest, coldest silk.

So child, take the cup and let it splash;
suck the sweet plastic and grin.
May your saliva roll down your chin and neck
like jewels, sparkle on your fingers
that have just this brief time
to fly over the world.


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