Poems & Essays

13 Jul

What I Gave her

General/Column 2 Responses

Your bike clanks at the gate,
Your shoes slap on the pavement,
You come in at the door.

I reach out to run two fingers
down your hair,
Cradle the back of your head
in my hand,

Find your baby face,
behind the line of your cheek,
Peering out at me,
A mischievous, elfin glance.

Soon, I will be giving birth to you again,
Will watch,
As you uncurl yourself
From my heartbeat,
Take firm, sure steps,
Away.

But first, a gift.

Here, in the center of my chest,
A wound has opened,
And I pull from my breast bone,
this shard,
Newly broken.

Press its fierceness,
Deep within you.
Bid it hold and stay,
Talisman
Of love and power.

 

 

Beth Mills has been a poet all her life, around the edges of being a mother, wife and teacher, and she can still remember how it began. She was eight years old and she had the idea that she needed to remember, that she needed to save a moment from that time, that very day, that she could carry forward, into the rest of her life. So she decided to walk back and forth across the bottom of her bed, her hand running along the wooden bed rail. Back and forth, back and forth, to seal that small piece of time in her memory forever. And it worked, of course. What a strange idea for a little girl. But that was the beginning of poetry, the beginning of the poet in her. Because what is poetry but an attempt to hold time, to save pieces of our lives, pieces of ourselves, to remember.

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2 Comments

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  1. Sandra S. McRae

    July 13, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I love the image of the baby face hiding in the child face. So true! I enjoyed your bio, too.

    Reply
  2. Jennifer Cramer-Miller

    July 19, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Beautiful words. Thank you!

    Reply

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