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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Motherhood

Here's a poem I wrote for Miia for Mother's Day. It's not romantic. Wanted to let her know I appreciate the work and the sacrifice of her mothering, and mothering in general:



Motherhood

The furniture is all draped in bright plastic toys,
designed to catch new eyes as ours blur
in psycho-sleepless overdose. So many monkeys
in so many colours, can’t tell which one he means,
when he jibber jabbers his many monkey stories.

Gums gumming at my boneless fingers.
Nguhmngaoohawooglglnnnnaaah!
gurgles to babbles to wails
stuffing up our underground bunker.
No one hears but us, from the depths
of seven winter blankets, no one responds
but you.

At 11:00, 1:15, 3:30, 5:45, and 7:30,
when all-night urine wafts tickle our noses.
Somehow with a true smile, his
fluffy white dog howls deep-bayed devotion.

Yet a crane is called in to lift my eyelids,
and reveal, through a greasy waterfall,
the open-mouthed toothless grinning morning.

What adventures the day holds:
One helicopter pooh;
two laundry loads;
three face-shredding cries;
four new mouth-sounds;
five giggly fits;
six milk-drool feedbacks;
seven diaper changes.

And somewhere, maybe food, fast;
quick check your email,
before he wakes up!

In this motherhood, no room for error.
No room for hubby’s flu-ridden stomach
lining in the diaper bucket, baby putting his
direct on you, while you clean the other’s
double-foul stench. That moment wasn’t covered
in pre-natal class, nor in the parenting books
holding court on our shelves, shoving aside
novels, philosophy and politics with their
kindly commands of unconditional love,
raising a “we generation.”

Foucault can’t help you now anyway,
can’t remind you the words to Frere Jacques.
There are no extra arms for you in any
of the 18 parvas of the Mahabharata.

As you squeal and you waltz your
Thirty-inch partner room to room, and
room to room to day to day singing and
smiling a 1950s sitcom tune, and
as you try to remember the name
of that Nobel-winning theory you employed
in winning your community development award,
those names and titles crammed uselessly
in prominent shelves, those prolific names
who traveled with you from the suburbs
to the ivy walls to the inner city,
they ask you, and ask you, “Surely,
we too had children? Where did we ever
find time for something as elusive as an idea?”

But they’re disgusted with your puke-covered blouse
and your unwashed hair. Their question is
an accusation that spews the dust from their jackets
airborne, where it clings unwanted to your
most intimate dance, settles on your shoulders
promising more housework, and as you reach
to brush it off, it occurs to you that the dust
is perhaps made of seeds – seed of ideas –

And he farts, too long and too wet,
and you flick your fingers, brush the dust
into an explosion of aborted thought.
And he giggles, and you giggle back,
press your nose to his and rub.
“Wazza wazza wazza!” you say,
and he giggles and he squeals.

2 comments:

Julie said...

I love it.

benjibopper said...

Thanks!