Saturday, March 27, 2010

mother and daughter

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
Petit fleur said...


Is this the poem that is going to be published soon? It's incredible.

You really are quite a genius. Your writing transports without fail. Thank you for sharing it so generously.

Wishing you blessings and more blessings,

justmakingourway said...

Breathtaking, Maggie.

Maggie May said...

Petit, no, I just wrote this. Thank you!

Thank you Making My Way, for reading and responding. I really appreciate it.

Amber said...

Way awesome poem. I never could write are amazing at conveying a message through poetic words.

nfmgirl said...

Beautiful, as always...

I'm Katie. said...

I am terrified of birthing a daughter for these reasons. I hope if I ever have a daughter I can allow her, encourage her, to be "cartwheeling clouds
i watch on my back in bliss."

jennifer said...

so so good. i'm with you here.

Elizabeth @claritychaos said...

I've been reading your blog recently without commenting, but this -- wow. This is incredible. I'd love to read more of your poetry. You're really good. You make me want to write better. Lovely.

SJ said...

Love you, MM. Have, for so long. Take care of you!

Kate said...

That is strong! Gorgeous!

Amy said...

"let us tell them Georgia painted us in bloom." I love this. I love this poem. I feel the same about my daughter and it is so incredible. I only want her happiness. Everything about her is in bloom.

Vodka Mom said...


as usual.

michelle said...


I love this poem.

Therese said...

I echo what Amy said. I love this. Raw and beautiful.

bazza said...

Hi, are guys allowed to comment?
(Just a joke!).
I found your blog by random chance. About one in a hundred is worth stopping at and most of the peotry published on line is, frankly, disappointing and self-indulgent but I like this poem.
It's honest and the metaphors work very well.
Nice blog; I will revisit.
Bazza (UK)

anymommy said...

I absolutely love this one Maggie. Your words speak directly to something deep inside of me. "i am not afraid of your newness, i am not greedy for what i lost" That is exactly how I feel about my children, although sometimes, I am greedy for them to stay as they are.

Tiffany said...

I love this. This is exactly me--why I'm afraid of having children. Beautiful.

Unknown said...

oh , Maggie.
what to say.

and as the mother to four daughter, albeit with a different worry than yours... I feel this so

thank you for sharing it with us,

and I hope you are feeling well

Evangeline said...

Tears. Wonderful stuff!

* said...

"this world is a burnt face with reconstructed skin
and luminous eyes that glow within."

Beautiful. Poet. You.

Woman in a Window said...

I end this smiling. How could I not?


j said...

I will probably never have a daughter, but you articulate some of the fear -- and the hopeful joy -- that I imagine would be a part of it. Beautifully done.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I love this, Maggie. GORGEOUS.

Terri said...

"your chances for everything i did not." this. and how it is transformed to bliss. yes!!!

The Child said...

That's a really great poem. I wonder those things myself. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

izzabitz said...

I just found your blog, and read your most recent post and this poem. The poem is so beautiful, and, as others have said, echoes my own feelings about having a daughter.

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