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Mothering Days

Susan Ioannou
First appeared in Cross-Canada Writers' Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 2, 1986.
Reprinted from:   Clarity Between Clouds. NB: Goose Lane Editions, 1991.


For Stefan

These are mothering days:
hollows warmed with hideouts' flattened grass,
buttercups yellowing under a petal-small chin.

Rolled from ourselves, we watch wind puff clouds
faster than swollen sails dissolving in dream
shapes our lilting fingers trace out of blue.

Hollyhock horses graze on the sun,
nod us to bunch muscles, gallop in rhythms
wild as a wish, wide as our streaming tails
up, over the climbing hills.

The river catches us cold,
splashes surrender, shrieks under willows.
Green in their dappled shade, we twirl
—"Rapunzel, let down your hair."

Fingers splayed, we croak, spring,
bump head-high on reality,
tumble back—hot skin, prickled throats
redden with "Ouch!" and laughter.

The cool house beckons stillness and ginger ale.
Straight, motionless, table and chair
welcome us home to dusk's steady, slow ticking,
old toys patient in corners.
The apple seed cupped on the kitchen sill
is a promise we watch, water again each day.

These are mothering years:
minutes folded back, one by one,
night-light's glow, one more drowsy page,
sleep's blanketed kiss, before the bed
grows shorter and disappears into stars.



Susan Ioannou's works copyright © to the author.


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