A warm blossom breeze passes through my tomato rows, spreading thick nature’s pollen, coating flower’s ovaries, choking my throat, a violent cough ejecting spring’s sex. Pulling weeds from their roots, my labor becomes heat, dripping sweat edging my back, panting chest, aching thighs – body feeling the earth,  a vigil deep, the work of a lover’s hands – thousands of years of hard trees, thin sprouts, streams, water breaking through river’s dams, filling the valley with sky. This, as my grandmother was, is who I am, mother earth, an inherited breath, sighing at dawn with the blue-necked heron, a rookery in pine, watching the shore where children play.
Gathering my seeds and pressing them into the dirt, dust clinging to my hands, upturned, praying for rain, a blossom breeze, I celebrate my story.

I’ve been working on this poem for a few days as I am wrestling through a very strange new shame that has emerged inside of me: I have been feeling a lot of shame about being a mother and not pursuing anything else. Now that I’m not pursuing a doctorate and have begun to shift my focus away from academia, I am feeling quite a bit of shame that my focus is now on my children, my family, my garden. I’m sure that this is a result of my own pressures that I put on myself. I’m not sure if academia has done a bit of harm to my psyche as a human – the practical needs of my body and mind – or if I have been cynical of myself as a woman for far too long. But this poem serves as a confession of who I am despite my shame.


8 thoughts on “Confession

  1. I say own the shame, embrace it, then flush the bitch down the drain. Your story isn’t over. Our children are young. They will get bigger and the demands and pressures of raising them will ease off. Not entirely but a bit. Your dreams aren’t dead. Our children need us now. I don’t think we will ever regret being there for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The poem was breathtaking! And really, it takes courage to focus on being a mother in contemporary america because some people seem to forget that feminism gives us freedom to choose. No one should be judged based on that choice. If society says women have to have careers and can’t stay home with children and gardens, then it is just as restrictive as if it were the other way around. Cherish your time with the earth and your children while you still have them both.

    Liked by 1 person

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