robinShannon and I on Pinto, on the Osa Peninsula, 1991

“The Mother Line”

They are two sons,

and i am one mother.

and i

was never


the madonna’s face you saw

was a myth,

a wish,

a stubborn hope

that has carried me

through a legendary landscape,

my feet vaulting down

a volatile path of disappointment,


and sheer fatigue.

too close to the unbound edge

for comfort,

i quietly and tumultuously careen

between lost and found,

boundless and bound.

i am selfish and selfless, and

the maelstrom of motherhood has wrung me

and flung me high

and low…

and i have deep grief and joy

because of it.

motherhood is a magnet;

an untenable, organic force.

my face

is relentlessly held in place,

drawn to witness

the brilliant and dusky spectrum

of the entire



it is an indelible history

of personal pinnacles

and brooding worry.

it is a song, echoing.

it is my umbilical to the world,

so abiding and fine,

and i carry it with me:

the mother line.

i see it stretching

miles ahead,

i feel it trailing

far behind.

*Robin is a fellow midwife training with me at Maternidad La Luz. I enjoy working with this wonderful woman 🙂

Leave a Reply