["Hour in which I consider hydrangea"]

Hour in which I consider hydrangea, a salt or sand plant, varietal, the question of varietals, the diet of every mother I know, 5 pounds feels like 20, I have lost … I have lost, yes, a sense of my own possible beauty, grown external, I externalize beauty. Beauty occurs on the surface of plants; the sun darkens the skin of my child, he is so small, he is beautiful (I can see; it is obvious) and everything about him is beautiful. His hand swells from the bite [spread?] of some insect[’s] venom because he is small. He appears to feel nothing. He smashes his skull against the floor. He screams. I hold him in my lap on the kitchen floor in front of an open freezer, pressing a pack of frozen clay against his forehead. He likes the cold. I see; it is so obvious. Hydrangea. When I move, when I walk pushing my child’s stroller (it is both walking and pushing or hauling, sometimes, also, lifting; it is having another body, an adjunct body composed of errand and weight and tenderness and no small amount of power), I imagine I can feel this small amount of weight, this 5 pounds like 20, interfering with the twitch of every muscle in my body. As an object, a mother is confusing, a middle-aged mother with little spare flesh, I feel every inch of major muscle pulling against gravity and against the weight of my child, now sleeping. This is the hour for thinking hydrangea. Let no man look at me. I stop to brush the drowsy child’s little eye. His face. He barely considers his mother. I am all around him. Why should he consider what is all around him? Perhaps what is missing is a subtle power of differentiation. I am in, therefore, a time of mass apprehensions.

Simone White, "Hour in which I consider hydrangea." Copyright © 2017 by Simone White. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow, a partnership between the Poetry Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network.
Source: PoetryNow (2017)
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