We sit at screens in grubby kitchens
close to brooms, listen to the hum of houses.
Beets grow in the garden plot. Dill. Tomato leaves
gather heat, billow into fruit to freeze come fall.
Hens wonder where the rabbit went, the one to stalk
and peck when loose. Into weeds, up with wings?
Creatures array around us waiting for food,
New children from whom we garner radial view.
We sit—centers of domestic mandalas—
sit for words, vertigo, attachment to subside.
Sons drive off in our old minivans, eager for life
beyond us. (We once wished for this—a tiny car!)
Emancipated, wordlessness is both
a meditative victory and childless curse.
We never meant to be the kind of woman
whose children usurp her deep sea purpose.
Even forewarned, we worked like men to learn
the mother part, became her—that oar boat, Love.
I’ve lost my crew. Words do not come.
Words that do, my hands contrive and twist—
Spun like cords to tie me to the giant, rolling earth,
or spells meant to unravel plans for ropes’ other uses.