Some maternal bindings

Wrap her in

admonitions, cautions,


Say to her, “You mustn’t


believe what your eyes see,

your ears hear,

your skin feel,

your mind comprehend.”

Tell her, “Black

is white; night

is day; right

is often wrong.”

Wrap her in

uncertainty, confusion,

negation of her


Preserve her

from autonomy.

Make her live through you.


She is your child.


GM, June 2008

9 Responses to “Some maternal bindings”

  1. tercero Says:

    She will be exposed- the light shines through penetrating the dark cave- cradle your creation and teach her the truths that will inevitably be forced to ingest like marijuana smoke- won’t you make her wise for her future years in an adolescent atmosphere? DO NOT INSPIRE FEAR, INSPIRE WHAT HER BIRTH CAUSED YOU: BEAUTY.

  2. suburbanlife Says:

    Tercero – it seems you picked up the content of this poem, but it is not autobiographical. Maybe needs more working to make that clearer. Thanks for your visit and sensitive comment. G

  3. Nita Says:

    The simplicity of your words have bowled me over, again. This para:

    Tell her, “Black

    is white; night

    is day; right

    is often wrong.

    is beautiful.

  4. Cori Says:

    Well the words are beautiful, I’m intrigued and would love to know more.

  5. Deborah Barlow Says:

    Haunting, both the language and the concept. It makes me teeter a little, even though my children have all grown up. We all have blind spots, sometimes only seen too late. Thank you for this G.

  6. mariacristina Says:

    A strong, visceral poem. It makes my heart hurt to think of a child growing up that way, yet so many do. Little parental franchises. Having souls like you in the world, G, softens life for these tender babes.

    speaking of this theme, I remember hearing Marion Wright Edelmon saying or quoting something like, “children are born of us, but they are not us.” I’ve been trying to figure out for the longest time that exact quote, where it comes fom, ect… If you know, please tell me!

  7. suburbanlife Says:

    Nita – thank you for your comment. G

    Cori – this poem is about control and ownership. G

    Deborah – I know what you mean about “teetering” in uncertainty about one’s parenting. Do we ever know the full extent of our own behaviours as parents, as some seem to come from an automatic place. G

    Christine – “Little parental franchises” – you stated it perfectly, bang on. I’ll search around for the source of the quote you mention. It’s brilliant, and true.
    I so appreciate your intelligent reading of this – Thanks! G

  8. joefelso Says:

    I love the pace of this poem—the short lines contribute to its pitch-perfect bitterness. It seems all one statement and spilled all at once. Wonderful. —D

  9. suburbanlife Says:

    joefelso – Thanks, D. This comment means so much, coming from you. G

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