April is National Poetry month as well as the Month of the Young Child (see previous post) and as such, I wanted to share a poem I wrote about a mothering moment I had with my first child…who also turned 7 this month (just too much synchronicity for me to let the month get away). This poem is especially meaningful to me because I wrote it after recovering from postpartum depression, during which I didn’t write, and I wasn’t mindful, and I just survived by the skin of my teeth. This sincere and simple poem captures a long-awaited and hard-won moment at the pool with my toddler. Anyone who has suffered and then felt better may appreciate it, whatever the circumstance.
For you Mom readers: summer is upon us and many of you will be at the pool with your own children soon, I hope for moments such as this for you.
Daughter and Eve*
By Kate Ferguson
Like this, I say, putting the red skin
to my mouth, then returning it to hers
I feel baby teeth
the crunch of flesh
She takes the fruit
in a two-hand grasp,
smiles into another taste
juice dripping down her chin
pick me up, she says
so I do
next to the swimming pool
her back against my belly
still wet hair against my chest
She is bare skinned and unashamed,
white and unfreckled in my arms
I stare into the water, try to remember
everything about this closeness
Tired of my touch, she breaks
from my arms, taking the core with her.
*(As appeared in 2013 Iodine Poetry Journal, rights revert to author after publication)