Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Book of Songs: BOOK I

Song 1
Sonless Mother
A fantasy song for his mothers before he knew the truth.

DENISE mourned the day her flowing ceased.
The rape seed sown rooted
deeply on the walls of her womb
weeping blood from her brown baby eyes—

eyes which could not eclipse her assaulter’s scowling face
eyes which could no longer catch enough light to sparkle
eyes which could envision her dreams aborted.

She wanted not this thing,
this life, this parasite
sucking her own life within.

It was 1967. Only sixteen, she had
no money, no clinic, no doctor, no law no choice.

unwilling to risk some back-alley mutilation, she
shored up her strength for the struggles to come and
moved and moved and moved her love out of her womb

down a river in a tightly woven basket.
“Go, go, my child. Be safe.”

For sixteen months, lost in rushes and reeds
it flowed, flowing into the abyss,
no nurture, no wonder, into that void too dark
and lonely, till back over the edge of the river basin it fell.
But soon enough,
it sprouted wings.
“Mama, Mama, please?”

And Mary Juanita heard.
She who had waited and prayed
and waited.
After six conceptions no child could
cling to her irritable womb,
a womb that bled and bled,
too much too fast
too fast too much
till finally carved out
it bled no more.

With no hope of seeing a child created in her own image,
with no hope of hearing that child cry out from new teeth and monsters,
with no hope of tasting her own fruit’s dreams ripen
she wept.

And she prayed again, not to the gods
whom she blamed for her Dharma,
but for two of her four decades,
she knelt down before
folklore and myth,
in supplication to stork wings
and river reeds.
She waited, and waited, and waited…
“Mama, Mama, please?”

So Mary Juanita took him.
more blessed than Pharaoh’s daughter
she relished his majesty
she cradled him in arms warm with love and devotion
she counted his fingers with kisses in praise they were all there
she breathed her own blood into each of his veins.
“You’re mine, now. You’re mine now.”

She strengthened him with the name of the rock
of ages of ages of ages of
lost babies
envisioned like this one:
her son.

Her son. And she, a sonless mother
no more adopted into her home
invited into her life
welcomed into her love
this living


From Fumbling Toward Divinty: The Adoption Scriptures, © 2005. All rights reserved.

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