The History of Mothers of Sons

by Emily

Lisa Furmanski

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

Poems about motherhood always give me the sense of peeking through the keyhole into some sacred club I am not a member of, but whose members I know. Meanwhile, mothers are wingless things in a room of stairs — revealing beauty and limitation and animalistic traits, and removing individuality while absolutely conveying the deep love. Does motherhood do all of those things?

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