Tether

By Alison Stone

Capricorn child, earth girl,

you drive me from the water tank to the floor.

Hands and knees—the posture

I hated in birthing class.

 

Finally your shoulders

force through the ring of fire,

now your downy, blood-streaked back.

The midwife tells me

 

to reach down and lift you

those final inches

out of my body

into the bright world.

 

The chord between us

throbs.

 

*

 

My mother folds diapers.

She and I laugh, finish

each other’s sentences.

 

*

 

Now,

again and again

you compel me

 

from the photo albums

I sob into, my mother

gone before your skull bones close,

 

over to the changing

table or bed. Your hungry

gums on my breast.

 

Your placenta wrapped and frozen,

to be planted

underneath a tree, in spring.

___

Alison Stone is the author of Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), Borrowed Logic (Dancing Girl Press 2014), From the Fool to the World: Poems in the Voices of the Major Arcana of the Tarot (Parallel Press 2012) and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award and was published by Many Mountains Moving Press. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review,  PoetryPloughsharesBarrow Street, Poet Lore, and a variety of other journals and anthologies. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin award. She is also a painter and the creator of The Stone Tarot. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. She is currently editing an anthology of poems on the Persephone/Demeter myth.


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