Final semester unfolding
Off to Texas again

Another mother poem: push




The nurses taught us to pin and tuck
a thin blanket into a straitjacket

each night when bedtime arrived
your dad would kneel over you on the rug

now you sleep limp like an old rag doll
your twiga and your plush rabbit akimbo

but when you're awake you push back
against baby gates and mountainous stairs

if I've chosen the wrong foods
or I'm not paying enough attention

you scatter what's on the tray
then glance at me sly and sideways

no, I don't want to clean shells
and cheese off the kitchen floor, but

secretly I love to watch you
stretch your wings

you're a chimera, half dad and half mom
and all you, from your furrowed brow

to your feet fighting to break forth
from the terrible tyranny of socks

claim your birthright and your blessing
unlock every strap and burst free

I've been working on three poems this week. One is an assignment for my feminist exegesis class; the other two are about parenting. None of them are written in resonse to this week's Big Tent Poetry prompt, though the latter two are part of my evolving manuscript of mother poems.

Drew is definitely beginning to test boundaries these days, pushing back in ways both physical (he strains to be picked up, then pushes away) and metaphorical (the bit of this poem about him scattering food? not poetic license!) It's developmentally appropriate, of course, and it's also adorable -- even when it also drives me a little bit crazy. ("Adorable but crazy-making" is probably a reasonable description of every almost-one-year-old.)

Here's a link to this week's Come One, Come All post so you can see what other poets did either with the prompt, or (like me this time around) without it.