TWI Poetry : Collecting Mothers, Moonshine, Ripe Fruit

Three poems by Candice Louisa Daquin

Collecting Mothers

As a child, as an adult

I collected mothers

bewitched by what had been absent

the soft strength and maturing gravitas

of gentle women who suspend the sky

It has long been a desire of mine

to inhabit the energy of a mother’s soul, long enough to learn, the mystery

it is as if I am a man-child, cut from peripheral cloth

for she who is a mother, has a remote wholeness I cannot absorb

the density of putting others before herself, to bring life squalling into this world

surely her soul is closer to the reduction and encroaching waves, shaping time

for her voice speaks of places I have yet to go

mysteries in the birth and death of life, she intuits

the breaking foamy sound, one of collapse, folding in on itself and remaking

as marbles in opaque jar, clustered too close to roll, will eventually spill

these tears, when dried, leave furrowed salt smudges

they do not know their existence well enough

to forget that another breeze, wild and hennaed

would lift even leaden spirit, from washed reproach

like children on the cusp of summer, appear ethereal, in fine grain light

laughing with a freedom not found, in classroom

imparting her knowledge, handed down by palm print

sometimes I feel I am a fragment of her rich tapestry

a thin thread that could easily unravel and with strong wind

be carried into puzzling wilderness, away from her sure-footed climb

I feel safer when she is near, holding up the world

her feet deep in red mud, her head just reaching Heaven’s gate


Later perhaps, we shall know our fruiting journey through maze of youth

outside I hear my dim-eyed neighbor mowing lawns until he aches silver

because his wife has turned away, nobody touches him anymore with dreams of yesteryear

we sprint toward each invisible finish line, with emptiness in our hearts

filled with busy distraction, nothing lasting, nothing to endure or sate cold claim

of climbing into bed, unwanted or alone, the feel of darkness, our shroud, from terrible disappointment

and then, before the battering of life became an unending din

then I had it all and didn’t know

standing on the precipice of youth we laughed at our indomitable facility to thrive

not yet diseased, not yet rawboned with stretch marks

nipping their silver lines like unwanted lace, or sagging pieces shaking to no good beat

not yet diminished on shallow waxen wheel of male adoration

though for me this was never a piece I wished to carve for myself

it was the love of a woman I craved, like first drink from fountain on a hot day with no clouds in sight

languorously we exult in crocheted certainty, time will stand still

make for ourselves exceptions and grand entrance

the labor of hope so easy and lubricated

then we’ll never be shaken off like a dull wet thing

nor left to gather dust as something once favored

we are surely, gleaming warm heads of our own personal state

if I could have heard the warning, should I have been able to listen?

Likely not, for day is long and hour far

we take lovers for bread and jam, hate yet a curiosity

our parents live robust, we can yet still, the freedom to go home

there are structures protecting the hollow timber of our hearts

from these days what we can we learn?

As growing up and away truth becomes stretched and gray

friends falling away, the bounty of never-never coming to claim her inevitable duality

delight in youth, for contrast is cruel

all should have its value, but we are flippant with our boon

and when the cold night comes, we usher ourselves to greater darkness

in the strangeness of change, not able to see what is portent

nor later the freedom, released from expectation

to unfold our wings, take flight

no more a shining thing but something effervescent

and filled with light, casting its thrall

as long ago, diving for pearls

we claimed the moon

Ripe Fruit

The body

Is a soft pomegranate

Shiny seeds spilling out

Soft offering proffers

Sell by date

Arbitrary or fated circles within circles

Once, you bled

The same crimson as a dress you wore to fireworks night

Until invisible hands

Ushered away the urge to bring

Life wriggling on flat earth

Straining you heard

A primal cry

It was you

Half covered with sweat

Shaking off

The emptiness of the day

Your belly full

Of hours

Of Sephardi descent, Candice Louisa Daquin immigrated to America during 9/11, training as a Psychotherapist. In her spare time, Daquin works as Senior Editor at Indie Blu(e) Publishing. An ardent equal rights campaigner, Daquin created SMITTEN This Is What Love Looks Like, an LGBTQ anthology of love between women, which won Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards. Daquin’s last collection of poetry, Pinch the Lock, was published by Finishing Line Press.

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