Two Old Poems on Mother's Day

A poem written 6 or 7 years ago. Posting it here to celebrate my mother on Mother's Day.

My Mother's Voice
My mother's voice
is like her belly,
four times pregnant,
loose now and soft,
injured, healed, scarred.

My mother's voice
is aged with cancer,
the quiet, tricksy beast
that ate her breast,
cracked, guarded, uncertain.

She says
she is half the woman
she used to be
with one breast gone.
I say
to this warrior who birthed me,
your scars are proud battle wounds,

the one across your belly
and the one that is left of your breast

make you twice the woman,
and to me,
twice the mother.

My mother's voice
is like jasmine scent in my dreams.
she speaks and sings to heal my hurts,
because her voice can travel
farther than her body.

Her voice can embrace me
when she cannot.


A poem written roughly two years ago in the depths of guilt and writer's block. 


My daughter looks at me
as though I am a wonderful thing.
I come home from work,
exhausted from physical aches
and those that can't be isolated and named.
I hold her, she coos in my arms,
everything else melts into a myriad of colors,
dissolving into insignificance.

My mother sits on the sofa,
and looks at me: I am her wonderful thing, too.
She has shed clandestine tears
these past many days.
We say little to each other -
she takes care of the baby, cooks, cleans,
I bury my face in my daughter's neck,
breathe in her clean baby smell.

It's been a hard summer for two mothers:
one new and one old.

Photos by Rebecca McCue