Monday, October 07, 2013

Their Bodies Are too Much With Us

This week, we were to write in reponse to Wordsworth's famous sonnet "The World is too Much With Us" For some reason Wordsworth's poem brought me back to motherhood.  To all of our confidence and studied knowledge that we bring into it and then to the reality of how raising human beings is such an amazing and difficult task.  How it is something you can't possibly know how to do, no matter how many times you try because every child is different.  And how, especially in the case of raising a child who is different.  One always doubts oneself and worries about whether one is doing it right.  Here is my draft:

Their Bodies Are too Much With Us
After William Wordsworth
Their bodies are too much with us—
flesh from water to air to light—
They linger in the mind like a hive of bees;
butterfly kisses on cheeks, sticky hands, the shadow of dirty knees.

At birth the path out is direct and known—
it’s the after, this unlacing of what’s perceived and built up   [like a hive]       
where we become Herodotus: note moods, growth rates, amount of joy perceived.
When the Behaviorist asked me, what do you most want to give your children?
I said, happiness.  No, she said.  You are only here to contain.
Since then the hive has split open.  Honey dripping down arms and legs.
I have a sheaf of parchment, and write note on top of note, a palimpsest.
Their tiny bodies buzzing in my mind, like a jar of bees.


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