Saturday, July 12, 2008

"At the Door" by Jean Valentine

It's the primate aspect that interests me most about this poem.

At the Door
Seeing my daughter in the circle of lamplight,
I outside:

It is not I,
it is Mother.
(But it is I.)

It is the first tableau, the first
red wellspring of I.

Chimpanzee of longing,
outside the light,
wrap your long arms
around the globe of light,
hold your long haunches
wide open: be
ungodly I.

(Jean Valentine, from Not for Mothers Only: Contemporary Poems on Child-Getting & Child-Rearing, edited by Catherine Wagner and Rebecca Wolff. 2007 Fence Books)

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