Poems & Essays

18 Jan

On Mother’s Day

General/Column 2 Responses

my son tries to break an egg
he grips it in his fist
as though he could squeeze it open

but finding the egg
resistant to even-sided pressures

he strikes
the roundest end against
the counter’s edge
with force

the resulting cracks
grant his small hand
a crushing power

membranes burst
past shattered shell-white
yolk bleeds down
his arm

his face grows like a plant
toward light


As if he broke sunshine
over every valley on earth

As if he brought morning
to his mother in a silver bowl


Poet’s statement:

Concerning my creative process: for me writing is a spiritual practice. It is a way to find purpose and meaning in my life and the world around me. I will usually feel a glimmer of inspiration during “ordinary life,” and that glimmer will become the seed of a poem. It is nurtured through revision and study, both processes that feed me as a person and help me be fully present and aware as a mother. People often ask me how I find time to write as a mother of three boys, ages 6, 5, and 2. I always tell them I need to write, that it is essential in order for me to be the best mother I can be. So nurturing my creative and spiritual self allows me to parent with my best and entire being. However, even my creative process, like parenting, is a blend of intention and reality, and I am continually learning how to balance my own needs with the needs of my family. I have a extremely supportive co-parent, and am grateful to be encouraged and helped by my spouse. Motherhood is a complex human experience and includes both joys and challenges. This poem was written as a way to explore both what is joyful and challenging about mothering. I wanted to capture an experience that embodies what it means to be both broken and nurtured by parenting.

Lauren K Carlson is a rural woman writer who uses concrete images to explore complex spiritual themes. She lives with her husband and three sons in Dawson, Minnesota. Her work has been published in Fwriction:review and Blue Heron Review.

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Would you like to join the discussion? Feel free to contribute!

  1. Susan Goldstein

    January 25, 2016 at 12:43 am

    This just made me feel so happy inside, as tho’ it was my child concentrating so intensely on his Labor of Love. I could see it as clearly as if it was a home video

  2. Carla K S

    April 13, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    “…what is joyful and challenging about mothering… both broken and nutured…”
    I feel the cracks in that egg, and its hard to forget it. Yet every day I learn more about the sunshine that is filling our hands.
    Lovely poem, Lauren!


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