Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mom's Unconditional Love

I finished reading The Art of Description by Mark Doty over two months ago, but I can't shelve the book, because I keep needing to read this poem he quotes to feel sane.  It's the poem I've been in no shape to write.  Do you identify with the mother racked with unconditional love? The practical, and probably rightly angry speaker?  Or the speaker at the end, who suddenly realizes and marvels at the weight of this mother's love - as mysterious and beautiful as the moon?

Excerpt from "Facts About the Moon" by Dorianne Laux
...These nights
I harbor a secret pity for the moon, rolling
around alone in space without
her milky planet, her only child, a mother
who’s lost a child, a bad child,
a greedy child or maybe a grown boy
who’s murdered and raped, a mother
can’t help it, she loves that boy
anyway, and in spite of herself
she misses him, and if you sit beside her
on the padded hospital bench
outside the door to his room you can’t not
take her hand, listen to her while she
weeps, telling you how sweet he was,
how blue his eyes, and you know she’s only
romanticizing, that she’s conveniently
forgotten the bruises and booze,
the stolen car, the day he ripped
the phones from the walls, and you want
to slap her back to sanity, remind her
of the truth: he was a leech, a fuckup,
a little shit, and you almost do
until she lifts her pale puffy face, her eyes
two craters and then you can’t help it
either, you know love when you see it,
you can feel its lunar strength, its brutal pull.

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