The History of Mothers of Sons

By Lisa Furmanski Lisa Furmanski
All sons sleep next to mothers, then alone, then with others
Eventually, all our sons bare molars, incisors
Meanwhile, mothers are wingless things in a room of stairs
A gymnasium of bars and ropes, small arms hauling self over self

Mothers hum nonsense, driving here
and there (Here! There!) in hollow steeds, mothers reflecting
how faint reflections shiver over the road
All the deafening musts along the way

Mothers favor the moon—hook-hung and mirroring the sun—
there, in a berry bramble, calm as a stone

This is enough to wrench our hand out of his
and simply devour him, though he exceeds even the tallest grass

Every mother recalls a lullaby, and the elegy blowing through it

Source: Poetry (January 2008).

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2008

Biography

Lisa Furmanski is a physician living in Norwich, Vermont, with her husband and two sons. Her work has recently appeared in the Antioch Review, Beloit Poetry Review, and Poetry International.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Coming of Age, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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