Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Henry, 11/10/12

The History of Mothers of Sons

All sons sleep next to mothers, then alone, then with others
Eventually, all our sons bare molars, incisors
Meanwhile, mothers are wingless things in a room of stairs
A gymnasium of bars and ropes, small arms hauling self over self

Mothers hum nonsense, driving here
and there (Here! There!) in hollow steeds, mothers reflecting
how faint reflections shiver over the road
All the deafening musts along the way

Mothers favor the moon—hook-hung and mirroring the sun—
there, in a berry bramble, calm as a stone

This is enough to wrench our hand out of his
and simply devour him, though he exceeds even the tallest grass

Every mother recalls a lullaby, and the elegy blowing through it

Lisa Furmanski (via Poetry Foundation)


  1. What a beautiful, heart-wrenching poem.
    And your son. Oh, Elizabeth.

  2. I think it is much the same for mothers and daughters... sometimes to gyms and fields, but for my girls it is play practice, art classes and climbing walls (not that I'm climbing walls... but you know the kind one belays with a friend on) I LOVE the photo you have shared.

    I hope that you will join me in creating the gratitude quilt this year, our 4th one!! Information about the quilt and how to participate are at the top of my blog.

  3. This is so so beautiful.
    I love your blog Elizabeth. Thank you so much for every post . Truly.

  4. He's growing so fast, now, Elizabeth. And so very handsome. And tender too. I stared for a long time at the photo in your previous post of Henry holding Sophie, the care, the love. What a man you are raising. I can tell from that aching, beautiful poem that you can see him becoming more fully himself, self-possessed, capable, a man in the making. It is bittersweet, their growing up, but it is infinitely more sweet.

  5. Oh. What a photograph of your son and what a poem to share. My son is only eighteen months but it won't be long. It never is.

  6. That poem and that picture are perfection. If I could get weak-kneed I think this is what it would feel like. Lovely.

  7. Terrific! Love the language and the sounds.

  8. Beautiful boy. Beautiful poem. As always, thank you, Elizabeth, for all the goodness and love you pour into the world.

  9. "Every mother recalls a lullaby, and the elegy blowing through it"

    what a line. and your son is growing almost impossibly handsome, isn't he?



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