for my son I have ignored you for a year. I have not dwelt on the soft fur of your arms or the way you rubbed my cheek with your own starry cheek. I splintered your hands away from my heart when you exited me. Of the men who have claimed my body, only you reflect my exact goodness, tragic as a cotton field ripe with bloom, but I have not dwelt on this either. Not in one year or three— the way you break open your own throat, singing, sculpting one world, another, or kiss a girl in my kitchen, calling her, Love, My Love. No: I have ignored you for a year or six, maybe. Not touching your feet or your shoulders to dab them dry. Not humming in your ear as I did once. Not holding your head against my chest in the sad night. I have not dwelt on other women who speak sweetly to you, laugh with you, or hold your head against their chests in the sad night. I have ignored you for a year or ten, finally severing the root, purging, drying out the heart: go.
Copyright © 2018 by Laurie Ann Guerrero. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 20, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“My becoming a mother at nineteen years old held incredible weight for both my son and me. Countering narratives that deemed us less than often called for subversive and political mothering on my part: tough love and extremism. In examining mother-son relationships within the paradigm of familial and cultural traditions, I was forced to explore my own (sometimes) ill-guided inclinations as I prepared my only son to move to Manhattan from the Southside of San Antonio for his education eighteen years later. This poem explores what gets lost, misplaced, and erased when one spends too much time looking at the ‘bigger picture.’”
—Laurie Ann Guerrero
Laurie Ann Guerrero
Laurie Ann Guerrero’s most recent book is A Crown for Gumecindo (Aztlan Libre Press 2015).
Date Published: 2018-12-20
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/blessing-0