Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thinking of Blue Feasts

I hardly ever open this book I wrote so many years ago, titled Blue Feast. Not really that long ago, though it seems so. It had been completely bashed in a couple of reviews which took the wind right the hell out of my sails at the time.  I guess that's what such reviewers are aiming for of course.  Meanwhile I was in that wildly fragile state - you know that time before your kid goes to school, that almost transition. You want to hold onto them, you want to send them away, they need to separate, you need your life, so to speak, back, yet you can still break into a flop sweat when you hear a kid cry.  It's so emotional.  I see that in women who have small ones now, though I didn't entirely understand it in myself when I was in it.  Our daughter was four and five when I was writing Blue Feast, and now she's 13.  The world is entirely different, my emotions are entirely different.  My worries, different.

Anyway.  This bowl of cereal reminded me this morning of a poem I'd written way back then.  So here it is:


Yes.  That you are shattered
when you have a child.
And every birthday each
piece of you
shatters again.

When she comes running
every step.
When we are apart, with every fathom.
When she gets out a bowl,
some cereal, milk.

The light enters sharp
through so many angles
when you have a child.
It is as though
you are constantly raised
above ground and let go.
The hard earth you begin to know intimately.
Such exhaustion and joy.


I've had people tell me that they have misread the title as Angels, which was one of those intentional accidents of writing.  Mostly I wanted to get at the fact that motherhood is never just one thing.

So that was me revisiting my blue period.  Back to the grey....


  1. Very moving poem, Shawna.
    When the kids are little and fragile, we have to be so tough and resilient. I often feel fragile when I look back. Different worries, true. A different blue feast.....

  2. thank you dear Cathy. i also sometimes feel fragile when i look forward too : )


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