Here’s another post from some time back, one I have updated to reflect current experiences: the graduation and the 22nd birthday of the subject of this brief reflection.
The morning was hot, and I had not kept up with the gardening. I needed to get the zucchini seeds, etc. in the ground before the weather got too hot and dry. We were a little behind schedule with the garden because we had a 17-month-old, and I was 9 months pregnant. I was sowing and weeding as women have done since the earliest establishment of agriculture, heavy with child, my back aching, working like a woman obsessed.
You know, that “nesting” thing you hear about with mothers-to-be? I was a week overdue and sick of waiting around; and gardens won’t wait. The weather was perfect for planting the post-frost seeds. The time was–of course–ripe. Eight hours later, I gave birth to a daughter.
A couple of years later, too busy to write much, this set of cinquain stanzas arrived in my mind (published in 2001 in June Cotner’s anthology Mothers & Daughters, A Poetry Celebration).
Now, that infant is a grown woman with a college degree. Happy Birthday, Daughter.
To My Daughter
morning I had
planted seeds, cucumber,
melon, squash—I pressed them into
in my body
sang and I listened for
a cry to join my own—straining
you were, all pink,
unfolding in our hands,
a blossom opening with a squall:
© 1994 Ann E. Michael