2023 - A Mother's Love Poetry Contest Winners
Everything That Is Watered By Amanda J. Gott
I see myself in the silver vanity knob,
with dark circles, the natural makeup of zombies.
I sit cross-legged in my sweats at 2:32 A.M.,
holding back her hair so she can vomit
watermelon and curdled milk.
I do not recognize that shell of a face,
upside down, in the silver vanity knob.
Did I know when I colored that picture of Mom yelling at me
for skateboarding through the house
with backwards hat and headphones on,
that I didn’t have to publicly display my artistic perspective
in front of all the ladies at the Mother’s Day Tea?
Yet I did, probably because she made me wear a dress.
I see myself fading in the silver vanity knob,
as the hot steam shower fogs the bathroom.
I cradle him close
as we sway to the tune of
Jesus Loves Me.
This I know: he breathes
steam and melts into my chest.
Did I know when she stopped to see the birds
and listen to their songs
that I, too, would someday stop and look up to the sky?
And when I see a chickadee flitting from branch to branch
did I realize her hugs would still linger and remind me
not to worry?
I see my heart, her heart, in the silver vanity knob,
beating rhythms inaudible
before the vomit
and croupy coughs,
night terrors and nighttime tickles,
cul-de-sac parades with frying pan banjos,
and the melting into my chest.
Did I know when we planted those crocuses,
satin sheet purple, they would still bloom
after she was gone?
She did not lose herself
nor fade away.
She is still blooming
in everything that is watered.
Born by Emilia Rosa
A child is born, mysterious being
my body kept nine months a secret.
The first wail of burning pain of life anew
among these strangers she doesn’t know,
magic transference from a cushioned chamber
to the enormity of the universe in a room.
Blinking eyes that do not yet see,
grasping fingers that cannot hold,
body so complete yet still evolving.
Outside the cold wind blows the trees
pulling filaments off whipping willows
in spasms of contorted wombs.
Placenta, blood, umbilical cord—
the beauty of it all is overwhelming:
the miracle of life every minute created.
Bones adjust back to their origin
and milk flows to satiate and make grow
a child that will learn to sweetly call
the most beautiful name that ever was.
Be mother and be the Universe in one:
a child is what makes the circle close
into the perfect ring that started the world.
My Mother Sets the Dining Table with Love by Sandra Rivers-Gill
With churched hands she gathers us.
A crowd of knees bowed beneath
her table of festive linen;
every tongue confessing.
Her gift is a bookmark of conversations
turning pages that offer light.
And we shine as if the Son Himself
has wrapped His arms around us.
With grace she serves the least of us –
her hands a virtue of habit.
We are like her centerpieces; heirs
of love passed around the table.
She fills us with witty musings –
the medicine of a good laugh shared.
Her dish of wisdom is fresh
from the heart; can’t afford to waste it.
Her flavor is spice on our tongues –
but comfortable as the quilts she threads.
Her hymns are golden brown
melodies we were raised on.
She spreads a buffet before we hunger;
marinates it and stirs to overflowing.
Joy is her most memorable dessert –
the chorus of our spoons chime in.