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I Ask My Mother to Sing

Li-Young Lee – 1957-

She begins, and my grandmother joins her.
Mother and daughter sing like young girls.
If my father were alive, he would play
his accordion and sway like a boat.

I’ve never been in Peking, or the Summer Palace,
nor stood on the great Stone Boat to watch
the rain begin on Kuen Ming Lake, the picnickers
running away in the grass.

But I love to hear it sung;
how the waterlilies fill with rain until
they overturn, spilling water into water,
then rock back, and fill with more.

Both women have begun to cry.
But neither stops her song.

 

 

photograph Rose Cook

 

Mothers, daughters…International Womens’ Day 🧡

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Moon for Our Daughters       by Annie Finch

 

Moon that is linking our daughters’
Choices, and still more beginnings,
Threaded alive with our shadows,

These are our bodies’ own voices,
Powers of each of our bodies,
Threading, unbroken, begetting

Flowers from each of our bodies.
These are our spiraling borders
Carrying on your beginnings,

Chaining through shadows to daughters,
Moving beyond our beginnings,
Moon of our daughters, and mothers.

 

photo Rose Cook

How To Get To The Other Side

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Go find someone who knows.

A woman, your mother,

your grandmother.

They will show you how to begin.

 

Cast on. This is not easy.

It involves loops. Relax.

Tension flows in, twists and knots.

Breathe.

 

Feel the warmth of the wool.

Allow the click of needles,

the rhythm of the stitches

to knit you calm.

 

It is not grief that shapes our days,

but peace. Console yourself

and as you knit,

death will not come close, but lies,

its belly to the fire to warm its fur.

poem and photograph Rose Cook