Kitchen Table MFA (Madwomen): My Mother as Walden Pond

This poem is part of the Kitchen Table MFA, a series that showcases writing communities through interviews and creative writing.

My Mother as Walden Pond” was previously published in Aesthetica: The Art and Culture Magazine, UK

Out of her twig-filled lungs a strong wind whirls

she is a small stream     obstructed
a standing body

in spring she floods parched uplands
in winter bristles over

she is walkable and swimmable

apple-tree wood roots inside her teeming throat
her calves and feet are pliable 
as leisure 
her fingers alburnum

white-paved stones encircle her
and mark the solitary home 
of one lone Loon who laughs loud 
at her watered-down jokes

she is time gestated in the song of whip-poor-will,
a seventeen-year Concord locust hatched of ribbed solitude

the serenade of fox, the swoop 
of owl, a clear deep well of April green
the rising steam in January thaw

neither inlet or outlet 

some think her bottomless
or speculate man-made
some say brought forth by rod

she contains herself in color 
appears altered at a distance

sometimes her blue reflection rises 
in the form of firm-fleshed fish

they swim her depths 
which are transparent 

Read Nancy Reddy’s interview with Madwomen here. Read the other members’ work from Madwomen here and here.

Tess Barry

Tess Barry was shortlisted for the 2015 Manchester Poetry Prize (UK). Twice a finalist for North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize and Aesthetica Magazine’s Poetry Award (UK), she was also twice shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize (UK). Her poems have been widely published in journals such as North American Review, Cordite Poetry Review (Australia), The Stinging Fly (Ireland), and The Compass Magazine (UK), among others. Barry teaches creative writing and poetry at Carlow University, where she is also the Interim Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program.

Karen Arnold

Image by Karen Arnold from Pixabay