Your cloistered womb, my sanctuary.
Your waves of pain, my launch to light.
Your milk, my perfect nourishment.
Your songs, my lullaby dreams at night.
Your time, my freedom; your sweat, my peace.
Your aching heart, my road to somewhere
stretching far beyond your reach.
And what of anything have I left you,
having taken everything
(while hardly knowing it was so,
and saying so, hardly know it still)?
This morning talking on the phone
your voice was strong. I could have sworn
I was listening to an emperor,
or an orchestra, or a field of corn,
or a new moon tide swelling from the day
I emptied you by being born.
This poem is dedicated to my mom, Lil Reed, whom I "emptied" on August 26, 1963, and who today is an emperor and an orchestra and a thick corn field waving in the wind!