Maternity by Sue Churchill


“Maternity” by Sue Churchill


My daughter has a job interview
so I am bargaining with God
recklessly trading away all pearls
of happiness, the ones I sought so long
in the dark depths, holding my breath
to bursting.

It’s not just one or two I concede,
it’s all and any and ever.
I throw in the ewes,
the lambs I looked for early and late,
the one I fished for in the wet darkness
of the mother, its clammy form
a lump of death, then quickened like Lazarus.

She can go, I decree, without hesitation.
But I give a backward look at that one—
clambering through a gap in the gate
her mother on the other side, bleating, bleating, bleating.



From *Toward the Fold Poems* by Sue Churchill, copyright 2020, Reprinted by permission of Workhorse Press.

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