Brick by brick, I lay the words.
Smoothing sand between each stratum.
I build my house of syllables.
The architecture of my mother tongue
Has formed a home around me.
As I expanded, my speech grew too.
And within these walls of chaos,
I sit still and remember when
We were lying in the sun,
Not thinking of the time to come,
When I would no longer need you
To feed me when my tummy rumbled.
The cord, once severed, now extends between us,
Reuniting us. Your womb —
and mine, like an aeolipile.
And your heart like the sun that gently warms the earth,
As the baby turns between each winter’s sleep.
Our pasts entwined,
And our souls woven together,
As they once were when I dreamed in your womb.
Mother, brick by brick I build my house of
Linguistic syllables that allow me the words
To tell you “I love you”.
Within these walls of disorganization I remember
When we were lying in the sun
Not thinking about the time to come
When you would no longer be able to
Feed me up when my tummy rumbled.
The cord extends between us and has the
Strength of an eternal sun beam that warms the
Whole earth. The ray is embedded so deeply in our
Past that it twines our souls together into one
As they once existed when I was in your womb.
I wrote this in 2010 in my creative writing poetry class at VCU (Professor Gary Sange). It was written as a spin-off of the Simon Armitage poem, 'Mother, any distance greater than a single span'.
Mother, any distance greater than a single span by Simon Armitage
Mother, any distance greater than a single span
requires a second pair of hands.
You come to help me measure windows, pelmets, doors,
the acres of the walls, the prairies of the floors.
You at the zero-end, me with the spool of tape, recording
length, reporting metres, centimetres back to base, then leaving
up the stairs, the line still feeding out, unreeling
years between us. Anchor. Kite.
I space-walk through the empty bedrooms, climb
the ladder to the loft, to breaking point, where something
has to give;
two floors below your fingertips still pinch
the last one-hundredth of an inch...I reach
towards a hatch that opens on an endless sky
to fall or fly.