Our Mothers

Cheerfully hated, helplessly loved,
we carry them “beneath our heart”
until a day they appear quite separate:
involuntary, they slip the bond and are
their own women, ordinary, like us.

How long we had gone on giving them
such magical powers! They were huge
for us, nearly invisible
beyond the focus of power and need
so long as what they gave us was ourselves.

“Damn!” shocks us from our trance
into a room echoing with a woman
sewing, rubbing her thumb, pricked.
A frown, a rueful smile at hurt
fading: no one we know.

From Green Man