your arm begins as stripped branch.
you are standing in the vast grasses
a sapling, and easily broken or cut.
i could hate you. it's not said
but mother's do, hate their daughters.
so of course i was terrified to birth you,
with your swollen seed nipples,
the clean white slice of your sex
your chances for everything i did not.
luckily the heart won out, and
i only wanted you for you, unabashed;
Georgia always painted us in bloom.
or broken or cut, i am not afraid
of your newness, i am not greedy
for what i lost, everything i never had.
the sun lays on your face like a cat
on the grass, you close your eyes.
let's compare the old pistil to the new.
let us tell them Georgia painted us in bloom.
this world is a burnt face with reconstructed skin
and luminous eyes that glow within.
the world is a newborn mouth, squalling.
the world is your naked bottom, pressed
against the dirt in a half squat, your fingers
stained and strong, pushing holes for planting.
i was afraid i would break a daughter.
your arms are stripped tree branches, softly greening
i might have been a parasite, you could have broken.
instead you are the cartwheeling clouds
i watch on my back in bliss.
maggie may ethridge