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by Mary Lambert
And what is a Mother but the
container of everything we are?

She is speaking now, my mother
of the silent depths intractable.
And her mother through her.
At last.

The distance is shortened.
Poisonous to touch in life,
it withered any truth and skewed
our visions of each other.

Now that the scab is off, I can see
where your pain was. We connected
there and went blind, catalyzing our

Our lives paralleled, reflecting
the broken places; our journey
a swastika of fateful, implicit

Slowly, the juices boiled,
timed precisely so the prepared
mix would birth in me and
more equally align our gestalt.

Those ideals!      Killers.
But they got the job done, stirring poison
for half a century, the struggle finally
transmuting pus into gold.

At last, my hardness melts,
drop by drop, and in this softer
shape, your features do not
turn me to stone.

We commune and find we are each other.
Our bind loosens, pushing the shadow
back. There is a golden light near the

I hope you catch the glow,
thus shining the cord between us
giving us that tensile strength
so indigenous to women.

I am considering this last awareness
of your presence: That the bitter cup
given you was imputed to me, its
genetic map carefully charted
with purpose.

Does this make your place easier?
Can you feel the alignment?
Does my increased liberation
enhance your field, wherever that
may be?

Does my small accomplishment
create a wave through our women,
back to some place in lineage
unknown to either of us?

It seems it must somehow reflect.
If shadow follows us, one generation
to the next, cannot light reflect back--
like sun on a mirror?

Fate (Erinyes): Erinyes is a Greek word for the three faces of fate: Maiden, Fruitful Wife, Old Crone. From Greene, "Astrology and Fate", 1984, 1986

Swastika: An ancient symbol with many meanings, the swastika has been seen as a symbol of the succession of the generations. The hooks on the ends of its arms are the ships of life, or the different stages of life. (It is generally seen to rotate.) From: Cirlot, J.E. A Dictionary of Symbols, 1983.

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