Gurgling sounds woke me — (perhaps I needed to pee?) —
the sink had filled with water abundant enough to spill
out onto the floor and flow
in a sacred stream under the bathroom door.
In this lucid dream
within a dream I rose
from your father’s bed and followed the trail
to you, my son, a lotus blooming
improbably from a golden yoke on the belly of my ocean —
and I knew, like queen Maya upon receiving
a visitation by the sublime white elephant
that soon you would appear.

And now here you are — yes, here you all are! —
little lotuses mired in my mud.
Tying your nooses around your necks each morning
strangling yourselves a little more each day:
obediently becoming (for me)
what I never wanted
you to be.

*First published in Bluepepper


15 thoughts on “Lotus

  1. Michele, this is a remarkable poem. Way too close to the bone for comfort — at least for this mother. All that we do when we don’t really want to be doing it at all. Not so much thanks for this, but … yes!

    • Robyn, I wasn’t sure that anyone would really ‘get’ this poem, but you so clearly understand (perhaps even share?) my misgivings about certain aspects of the parenting process — and I’m rather relieved by that! But sorry to have scraped so close to the bone. Poetry has such a sneaky way of doing that! Many thanks for your insightful comment.

  2. I love your poetic muse and voice. Keep on speaking this way. Lovely, lyrical and heavily spirit laden. You are fantabulous. You truly spoke from your “own mommy” muse beating heart. Thank-you for sharing with me today. peace, love & all that jazz—g.a.meeder

  3. Whoa! So many contradictions and thought-provoking images: the mud, the nooses, the white elephant… I love that the speaker says she rose “from your father’s bed.” What commentary in these few words. Powerful piece, Michele. I especially enjoyed reading the other comments as they helped me appreciate my own thoughts better.

    • Hi Michael – yes, this is a contradictory little poem all right! Lots of my mixed feelings about parenting in here, especially about the parents’ role in socialising their children, ‘normalising’ them, if you will. The ageing hippy in me is never quite comfortable with that! Many thanks for your always incredibly perceptive and supportive comments.

  4. Pleased to have found your work Michele. I liked this series of images layered upon each other:
    You might like my womb weaver poem.

    “My son, a lotus blooming
    improbably from a golden yoke on the belly of my ocean —
    and I knew, like queen Maya upon receiving
    a visitation by the sublime white elephant

  5. Well, you’ve got me to thinking about that endlessly mystifying experiencing of mothering…wondering especially if I “did right” by my kids when they’ve refused to use those nooses, and, of course, have paid for the unconventionality, the integrity, in spades…the collective being what it is :). Thank you for the ugly beauty and inspiration. xo

  6. Ah, Chloe, as part of that ‘endlessly mystifying experience of mothering’ we’re continually wondering if we ‘did right’, aren’t we? We should cut ourselves some slack… we love them to bits, so I think we do OK. 🙂 xo

  7. I read your poem with much nostalgia for those times so long ago when my children were still tabula rasa it seemed then, with infinite possibilities.
    And now I live with, and have to accept middle aged people who I love, but might well not have chosen as friends if they had not been family… this is the price of giving them that freedom….

  8. Oh Valerie, I hadn’t considered that ‘freedom’ might mean choosing to be bound by social convention. But I suppose it might well mean that! I may baulk at constricting them, but perhaps, in the end, their choice will be to constrict themselves! Thank you for your wise food for thought.

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