Happy Mother’s Day

As I Pondered in Silence          
after Whitman

All these poems   all these
hungry things  and all the women behind them
My mother’s mother’s mother
was a sailor   and her daughter
was a witch—healthy  solid
vital  curious  amused –
and her daughter a nurse   and hers a poet
and mine a nomad.
My beautiful body unfolded from
their beautiful bodies   and my daughter’s from mine.
Even now – looking out on a light May rain –
and the lilacs almost at peak – I can feel
their moisture   smell their scent
hear the wars they all made weapons for
                        or bandages or long distracting letters
clamor for their sons and daughters.
These sailors and witches and nurses
will not read my hungry poems.
They made their own kind of poems –
and fed them too—chickens, jams, cans
of cream of something soup.
Anybody nurtured from them
was so   backhandedly   the point the making.
I would begin with them
and not with war – though war was and is the field of their world
as much a part of each
as the unfolding enfolding folds of their bodies—
I would begin with them and the things they made and patched
and fed            for life, in death, for the body
believing in the body                and yes the soul too          I too
am come   chanting the chant of their battles
I, above all, promote brave women.
Sherry Robbins, Happy Mother’s Day!

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