Saturday, November 21, 2020

I Knew, But…

I birthed my children knowing
they would grow up to consume
me, billions of bites at a time.

I watched them make tools
full of teeth, cannibalize
the tender greens
on the forests of my hips.

My children used to be bright;
if they fell my shoulders bare,
they would plant cuttings
in the hollow of my throat—
for balance, for tomorrow.

But something has gone wrong
with their minds (or their souls).
They’re stripping all I am,
and now we can barely breathe.

I knew they would consume,
but my nightmares never dreamed
they would waste everything.

 


photo by Joshua Woroniecki, on Unsplash


 - for Poets and Storytellers United (Writers’ Pantry #47: Breathe in the Words).

37 comments:

  1. Alas, most of us cannot hear our Mother – even when she yells as hot as fire or as rowdy as a storm....

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    1. Our lack of hearing sense is going to kill us... and her, too.

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  2. Sadly profit beats survival for when profit can be made the Earth, seas forests, rivers and their occupants mean nothing. Humans really don't deserve the Earth.

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  3. A stunning first-person personification, Magaly. I love how you put yourself in Mother Earth’s shoes, got under her skin. And such a terrifying image of her children consuming her ‘billions of bites at a time’ and cannibalizing ‘the tender greens on the forests of [my] hips’.

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    1. Thank you, Kim. Writing this poem made me very sad. I always wonder why certain people are so blind to what's right in front them, to the dire consequences of their actions...

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  4. "for balance, for tomorrow." I love the optimism there.
    My teenager confuses me nonstop. He makes me laugh, he makes me livid, he makes me smile, he makes me anxious. Sometimes he makes me question my principles, but thank goodness, not my worth. I also knew, but... Thanks, Magaly for something I can relate with today.

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    1. I wonder if the Earth weeps as she sees how little some of her children think she's worth.

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  5. Mother must be so disappointed in us; we need to fix our minds AND our souls, lose our me-ness, think ahead. Something has certainly gone wrong, and it's us.

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  6. In the space of time we take to dither or make excuses for it, evil will never pass up the opportunity to claim a firmer hold.

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  7. ¡qué lástima!

    Happy Sunday Magaly

    Much💝love

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    1. And when fall in, we'll start complaining about being buried.

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  9. Tools full of teeth rally got me. I'm wondering how much you might be outnumbered.

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  10. This...by the end I wanted to go sit outside and cry. Which seems like a better and better idea.

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    1. I can't say that I don't understand that feeling.

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  11. Very nice, and made me pause to think. Children do consume us, but perhaps the narrator gave to much of herself? Some mothers do and then when the children take too much are surprised, or desolated when they leave home. "they would plant cuttings in the hollow of my throat" is amazing. Those cuttings taking root and choking out the mother's own life.

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    1. I think most parents give everything in the beginning. Some learn to set boundaries, if their children take too much. Others have no choices, and that is heartbreaking.

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  12. Mother, where art thou ..... will we ever be OK again, or were we? A tremendous thought-provoker.

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    1. I think we can be okay, if we start doing better.

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  13. Mother Earth must be bereft at our misuse of her treasures. Such a moving poem, Magaly, beautifully written!!

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  14. Lovely poem Magaly. So sad that we can disregard our Mother, even destroy her to the point of risking her unforgiveness.

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  15. “on the forests of my hips.”

    What an inspired line of poetry. I am so moved by that.

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  16. Greed and profit have always ruled our planet...The question is can we change the human condition ?

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    1. The answer to your question is: It takes something more than human effort to change the human condition. As the ancient prayer goes: "Thanks be to God."

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    2. @Rall, I think that there are aspects of the human condition that aren't easily changed. But we can hope for refocus, I hope. You know, like when addicts give up addiction but get hooked on something like exercising? I know it might sound silly, but I wonder what sort of world we would become if we get greedy about helping each other and see profit in spreading good.

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  17. I think at the end I was expecting the children to eat the mother alive (perhaps because I just read your work about Dominican witches and had seen a sort of role reversal here) but it seems so much more tragic to be brought to waste. If it was done to keep her children alive I think a mother would surely forfeit herself, in the idea that her children would one day become the mothers who are then themselves consumed. But here we are wasting what would sustain us forever, what should be rejuvenated is extinguished. Any mother would despair.

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    1. I agree. I haven't met a good parent who wouldn't give their life in exchange for the life of a child. It's when the child doesn't mind sacrificing the parent for trinkets that things get disgustingly sad.

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  18. Wonderful. If only those who have the power to make the change could think these words. My heart breaks frequently over this. Yet I am powerless.

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    1. You aren't alone in feeling that. I know we try to do what we can, but the level of damage makes almost everything a few of us do seem almost inconsequential. Sigh.

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