Poems & Essays

18 Apr


General/Column 3 Responses

In the dark silence of the winter’s night
Still, in the rocking chair

In that pause outside of time
Before your featherweight body floats
from my embrace to the crib,
I gaze, dozing, at the ceiling.

There, alien fish swim,
contorted shadows from the nightlight,
eerie shapes spawned in uneasy water.

You also swam once, suspended, blooming, adrift in my belly.

I look down at you, beautiful,
No longer a sea monster of mystery, bumping and crashing,

And wonder if these are your friends keeping an eye on you
In your new world above the surface.


Jan Lower holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from McGill University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she won the Short Story Prize. Before turning to writing, she practiced law for many years. Her fiction has been published in Hunger Mountain (August 2015) and recently won first place in the 2015 Cape Cod Writers Center Writing Contest. Her article on the novels of David Almond is forthcoming in the Winter (March 2016) issue of The ALAN Review. She is the mother to one daughter and a very large cat, and she writes fiction and non-fiction from a third-floor nook in a sunny house she shares with her husband near Washington, D.C.

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  1. Joyce Sherry

    April 18, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Lovely! This poem evokes the quiet and solitude of the new parent. It hints at those deeper hopes and amorphous fears that any new parent feels for her child, and the ones that revisit us as our children take each new step into the world. Thanks for sharing this, Ms. Lower and Mothers Always Write!

  2. Martha Grace Reese

    April 20, 2016 at 11:29 am

    What a stunning, evocative moment. Thank you.

  3. Kathy Lower

    April 20, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    What a lovely picture your words draw. Terrific!


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