From the Kingdom of Ordinary Time

April 14th, 2012

I personally had a rocky relationship with my mother. We were enmeshed for the first 40 years of my life, then we became estranged. I read this poem today that was sent to one of my groups on Linked In by Reda Rackley. I immediately resonated with the thought that yes, it’s possible for me to forgive my mother.

Let me know what you think!

Reda Rackley 3:15pm Apr 13
Just heard this on NPR – thining of my mama today!

A poem by Marie Howe, from The Kingdom of Ordinary Time.


Bless my mother’s body, the first song of her beating

heart and her breathing, her voice, which I could dimly hear,

grew louder. From inside her body I heard almost every word she said.

Within that girl I drove to the store and back, her feet pressing

pedals of the blue car, her voice, first gate to the cold sunny mornings,

rain, moonlight, snow fall, dogs…

Her kidneys failed, the womb where I once lived is gone.

Her young astonished body pushed me down that long corridor,

and my body hurt her, I know that – 24 years old. I’m old enough

to be that girl’s mother, to smooth her hair, to look into her exultant

frightened eyes, her bedsheets stained with chocolate, her heart in constant failure.

It’s a girl, someone must have said. She must have kissed me

with her mouth, first grief, first air,

and soon I was drinking her, first food, I was eating my mother

slumped in her wheelchair, one of my brothers pushing it,

across the snowy lawn, her eyes fixed, her face averted.

Bless this body she made, my long legs, her long arms and fingers,

our voice in my throat speaking to you now.

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