Home » Fave-O-Lit Friday » Fave-O-Lit Friday- Sestina for the Working Mother

Fave-O-Lit Friday- Sestina for the Working Mother

Morning Hug

Morning Hug

 

Sestina for
the Working Mother.
BY DEBORAH GARRISON

– – – –

 No time for a sestina for the working mother.
 Who has too much to do, from first thing in the morning
 When she has to get herself dressed and the children
 Too, when they tumble in the pillow pile rather than listening
 To her exhortations about brushing teeth, making ready for the day;
 They clamor with goodbyes and “up” hugs when she struggles out the door.

 Every time, as if shot from a canon when she shuts the door.
 She stomps down the street in her city boots, slipping from mother
 Mode into a commuter trance, trees swaying at the corner of a new day
 Nearly turned, her familiar bus stop cool and welcoming in the morning.
 Standing here quietly she hears her own heart, though no one else is listening,
 And if the bus is late she hears down the block the voices of her children

 Bobbing under their oversized backpacks to greet other children
 At their own bus stop. They too have come flying from the door,
 Brave for the journey, and everyone is talking and no one is listening
 As they head off to school. The noisy children of the working mother,
 Waiting with their sitter for their bus, are healthy and happy this morning,
 And that’s the best way, the mother knows, for a day

 To begin. The apprehension of what kind of day
 It will be in the world of work, blissful without children,
 Trembles in the anxious and pleasurable pulse of the morning;
 It has tamped her down tight and lit her out the door
 And away from what she might have been as a mother
 At home, perhaps drinking coffee and listening

 To good radio, what rapt and intelligent listening
 She’d do at home. And volunteering, she thinks, for part of the day
 At their school—she’d be a playground monitor, a PTA mother!
 She’d see them straggle into the sunshine, her children
 Bright in the slipstream, and she a gracious shadow at the school door;
 She would not be separated from them for long by the morning.

 But she has chosen her flight from them, on this and every morning.
 She’s now so far away she trusts someone else is listening
 To their raised voices, applying a Band-Aid, opening the door
 For them when the sunshine calls them out into the day.
 At certain moments, head bent at her desk, she can see her children,
 And feels the quick stab. She hasn’t forgotten that she is their mother.

 Every weekday morning, every working day,
 She listens to her heart and the voices of her children.
 Goodbye! they shout, and the door closes behind the working mother.

One thought on “Fave-O-Lit Friday- Sestina for the Working Mother

  1. Fabulous sestina! Used to teach English, and I haven’t seen that form attempted in awhile. She did a marvelous job. Very enjoyable.

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