Visibility

Happy 2012, Mamas. Much light to you and many thanks to you for your heartfelt responses to this space.

I see you, Mama.
An ocean of people rushing past
you stand at the bottom
of the grey subway stairs
double-stroller in arms
figuring your
ascent

I see you
at the library
at the free music classes
at the grocery store
on the bus
pointing out dandelions
and pine trees
explaining that it’s not
alright to throw trash
in the street

Your sleep, broken
your spirit held together
by ancestors you will never
be able to name.
There is no nanny
no babysitter
no family standing at the ready
so that you can breathe

And sometimes
the river in you rises
you bite back curses
blink away tears
the child screams fire,
water of you starts to simmer and rise
then you find your breath
you lower your voice
you lower your hand
remembering that you want
to do this differently

Traveling an hour
for the girls’ rice milk
and organic berries.
Ice cream trucks blaring
candied kids carousing
teenagers rushing
adults venting
you are swimming against the tide
and the ache in your arms reminds you
No
you are the natural rhythm of water
the ache in your arms
is the start of muscle

I see you, Mama
in the street
on the bus
at the park
in the mirror
I see you
double-stroller in your arms
making
your
ascent.

(This piece was first published in February 2009 by the visionary folks at http://wwww.mothering.com.)

For more of my writing from the frontlines of womanhood read my first collection of poetry Karma’s Footsteps or download my free booklet Mother Nature.

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23 thoughts on “Visibility

  1. I first read your poem in 2009 following the birth of my first son. Today is his 3rd birthday. He has a brother who is 16 months old. I am moved by your words now as I was years ago. I didn’t know, when I was pregnant the first time, how much I would change. But I am a Mama! I am Fierce! And tomorrow I walk the world embracing the knowledge of other Mamas, who are the same as me: different, but still a-glow.

    • Congratulations on your little ones. And yes, isn’t it amazing how motherhood transforms us? My friend, Amena, said that she saw the world “through new eyes” once she had her daughter. My gosh it is so true. Enjoy your new eyes and your glow. And even when you don’t enjoy, remember it is just a moment and we are a tribe.

  2. You speak right into my heart, and remind me what a beautiful tool this internet is for giving and receiving. I too, am working on receiving. I receive your words with the complete gratitude of my soul. *Thank you* for sharing your gift.

  3. I Love this poem, it resonates with the ideas I teach in my Pre/Post-Natal Yoga Classes, The human pregnant body being a body of water, connecting to that innate flowing rthymth within, reminding ourselves to keep returning, over & over.

    Thank you for this gift, I’ve post it on a group face book page Wisdom Shared in Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond. Please feel free to join.

    Namaste

    • Greetings. Thank you for sharing this piece. I deeply appreciate it. I have often felt like the good we do as mothers is invisible. I hope that this poem helps all the mothers who see it feel seen.

  4. Reblogged this on alice in mamaland and commented:
    Absolutely love this breathtaking poem! When I read it, I felt it–I felt that she sees me. So often in this journey of motherhood, I feel invisible, like furniture, a favorite chair–well-loved, well-worn, but just in the background. Thank you, Sage Mama, for this beautiful post…

    • You are so welcome! Thank you for sharing the poem. I know the feeling of invisibility well. I am always put off when folks neglect to ask “How are you?” and instead go straight to “How are the kids?” (But that’s another issue for another poem 🙂 )

      One,
      Ekere

  5. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content! eceagkgkdgdg

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