Treasure Island

sheena blackhall

(18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Mother


I
Among thirty newborns crying, the perfect mother’s ear
Heard only the squeaky voice of her own child

II
Mothers can be borrowed or adopted
It is not obligatory to be of their womb

III
A mother kissed her child. It was only pretend
A mother hit her child. It was out of love.

IV
A man and woman together make a mother
Whether the baby lives or the baby dies

V
Fat mothers may be cuddly, but die early
Size is irrelevant either way, in the matter

VI
A perfect mother accepts the child she has borne
Whether it’s nice or one of the other sort

VII
Don’t you see how men adore and worship their mothers?
Mothers and virgins, both are suited to pedestals

VIII
I knew a mother who raised her kids on sweets
It had no teeth, but Lordy, it could party!

IX
Mothers are not allowed to make mistakes
Nobody gives three cheers when they get it right

X
Once a mother ran off and became a crow
Once sectioned, they removed her beak and claws

XI
Mothers feed cod liver oil and orange juice
To lubricate the wishbones of their offspring

XII
A violin is playing. Somewhere, a mother is dying

XIII
A mother sat in a corner, making pies
Flour was snowing around her very gently
No one had used her name in 20 years

Submitted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, July 10, 2013
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