Arithmetic

by Lisa Zaran

~for kiah and kirsten

That's how things are for mothers.
When they are alone, when their sons
and daughters have moved beyond
the decades of her touch, braided hair
and braces, lunch sacks and her ever-
present shadow, inseparable from their
own.  Everywhere they go, only a mother
must learn to weave her way back home
and stay put and not interfere.

And yet everything is perfect because
doesn't just a mother feel by chance
and know by heart the half-movement
of every inconceivable thought her child
has?  And so she does.  And often
when she feels sad and perhaps a bit lonely
all she has to do is look at her own hands,
mark her own reflection and smile knowing

how those beautiful children have grown,
became themselves, and though the habits
of touch have waned, the serenity of love remains.

From: 
The Peregrine Muse




Lisa Zaran's picture

ABOUT THE POET ~
Lisa Zaran was born in 1969 in Los Angeles, California. She is an American poet, essayist and the author of seven collections including If It We, The Blondes Lay Content and the sometimes girl, the latter of which was the focus of a year long translation course in Germany. Subsequently published to German in 2006 under the title: das manchmal mädchen. Selections from her other books have been translated to Bangla, Hindi, Arabic, Chinese, German, Dutch, Persian and Serbian. Her poems have appeared in hundreds of literary journals, magazines, broadsides, anthologies and e-zines


Last updated October 30, 2012