Treasure Island

May Swenson

(May 28, 1913 – December 4, 1989 / Utah)

Motherhood


She sat on a shelf,
her breasts two bellies
on her poked-out belly,
on which the navel looked
like a sucked-in mouth—
her knees bent and apart,
her long left arm raised,
with the large hand knuckled
to a bar in the ceiling—
her right hand clamping
the skinny infant to her chest—
its round, pale, new,
soft muzzle hunting
in the brown hair for a nipple,
its splayed, tiny hand picking
at her naked, dirty ear.
Twisting its little neck,
with tortured, ecstatic eyes
the size of lentils, it looked
into her severe, close-set,
solemn eyes, that beneath bald
eyelids glared—dull lights
in sockets of leather.


She twitched some chin-hairs,
with pain or pleasure,
as the baby-mouth found and
yanked at her nipple;
its pink-nailed, jointless
fingers, wandering her face,
tangled in the tufts
of her cliffy brows.
She brought her big
hand down from the bar
with pretended exasperation
unfastened the little hand,
and locked it within her palm—
while her right hand
with snag-nailed forefinger
and short, sharp thumb, raked
the new orange hair
of the infant’s skinny flank—
and found a louse,
which she lipped, and
thoughtfully crisped
between broad teeth.
She wrinkled appreciative
nostrils which, without a nose,
stood open—damp holes
above the poke of her mouth.


She licked her lips, flicked
her leather eyelids—
then, suddenly flung
up both arms and grabbed
the bars overhead.
The baby‘s scrabbly fingers
instantly caught the hair—
as if there were metal rings there—
in her long, stretched armpits.
And, as she stately swung,
and then proudly, more swiftly
slung herself from corner
to corner of her cell—
arms longer than her round
body, short knees bent—
her little wild-haired,
poke-mouthed infant hung,
like some sort of trophy,
or decoration, or shaggy medal—
shaped like herself—but new,
clean, soft and shining
on her chest.

Submitted: Thursday, April 01, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Motherhood by May Swenson )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Father, gajanan mishra
  2. Within The Forest, Brianna SaurusRex
  3. The Beatles in Auckland, michael walker
  4. Gandhi, gajanan mishra
  5. Keep Up, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  6. You, Jose Orozco
  7. In my heart - you are, gajanan mishra
  8. 9 August 2014, Shri R Brahma
  9. 2 August 2014, Shri R Brahma
  10. 31 July 2014, Shri R Brahma

Poem of the Day

poet Walt Whitman

ARM’D year! year of the struggle!
No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you, terrible year!
Not you as some pale poetling, seated at a desk, lisping cadenzas
piano;
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
  7. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. If, Rudyard Kipling

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]