Momma clock


You were never adventurous

insisting on sticking to interaction

proscribed a sure thing

trying to be a “good girl” but always told

you were never good enough…

I spent my days intoxicated by a flower’s breath

building new homes out of cardboard or snow

exhuming pets I was curious about death

and bones and teeth

climbing trees listening to their heart sap

nipping change from Norman’s penny jar

just for the sneak of it

not caring much about showing my girl parts

to the neighbor boys

And there you were pushing me off

unsteady on two bicycle wheels

as if your moods weren’t the day’s bad weather

and me always approaching you with the caution

of the kid held flat out in high winds

and now you were casting me off like a baby bird

as if you yourself knew how to fly

Well…little did I know your strange insistence

was giving me more than wings

your internal Mamma clock was saying

it was time I learned to really fly

even though you knew

I’d take off and keep rolling


Art by Terry Turrell

24 responses

    • Thank you Sheldon…. I was asked to join a local poetry group and this poem is from a prompt. So many factors involved in being inspired to write, you know? I’ve never been inclined to write from prompts (except drawings sometimes) so I’m exploring the possibilities since this is also an opportunity to “get out there” socially. Just trying to keep it real, Sheldon….

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Hariod. I’ve been involved lately in conversations with other poets dissecting how poetry is written. Left brain poetry. Right brain poetry. Poetry that reads aloud well. Poetry that is more like art on the page. I try to float over the top of it all while staying in touch with what moves like blood in my veins.
      Turrell’s paintings to me are a sensual/mystical delight. Visual storytelling far beyond the two dimensions of the surface he works on. I am continually fascinated by the way he fills space. All the best to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I remember my Dad teaching me to ride a bike so vividly, I hadn’t realised just how vividly until I read your poem Jana. It all came flooding back and that moment when he took his hand away, well you have captured that moment for me brilliantly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mark. That’s exactly it, isn’t it….that moment when their hand is taken away….! I was surprised at how the memory was whole…and also surprised I could pull something up working with a prompt. I’m sure I was unable to articulate in that moment all the emotions running through me. Writing this simple poem gave me some insight into that particular age. I’ll send it on to my Mum for a laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. family drama pulls us in when narrated honestly. is it because so many of us have stories of parents and children bruising each other while trying to love? but the poem also is about how you were a force of nature, anyway, absolutely reveling in your sense of adventure. and you still are exploring. wonderful stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “is it because so many of us have stories of parents and children bruising each other while trying to love?” A provocative question Michael. Our most intimate relationships really are the skeletal structure of our lives. I treasure mine. Writing this simple poem and then reflecting on it deepened my appreciation for all the learning possible through loving. Thank you Michael for steering right to the heart of it…


  3. How wonderful and blessed that you are still able to write about your childhood with mother and share it with her. You turn my thoughts to mine and my lost wishes. Your words increase in magic each time I open to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes John, I am truly fortunate. We have had a long and fruitful relationship. And I’m hoping me Mum appreciates this bit of recollection. I’m most interested in seeing what she recalls of her own part in this vibrant send off. I thought I’d spring it on her for Mother’s Day this year. By now she knows I’ll come up with something to recollect, reminisce and ultimately laugh about. I was rather disjointed at this age as was she. Two girls winging it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Richard… For images I collect the work of favorite artists, photographers, etc on Pinterest. It gives me a catalogue and an easy place to start researching anyone I’m interested in.


  4. I’m sorry you know how these things feel. I’m sorry that you know on such a visceral level.

    Exceptional imagery, beautiful form with freedom in truth. Good Lord you can write girl! Gracious. And the art work is phenomenal.

    and now you were casting me off like a baby bird
    as if you yourself knew how to fly

    as if your moods weren’t the day’s bad weather
    and me always approaching you with the caution

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Faith. Relationships are so complicated. My Mother knows I love her fiercely though. Fierce love shines. When we hug it’s belly to belly.
      And I am grateful I “live” in my body. It gives me a place to write from. Memories are in technicolor. Seems this is where you paint from too? Glad to meet you!

      Liked by 1 person

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