In honor of Mother's Day (Happy Mother's Day to you all!), for this week's feminist flashback I'm showcasing my own mother, Rita Dove, former Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner. To say I'm proud of her and awed by her would be an understatement, and I couldn't wish for more phenomenal parents than Rita and my father. That said, with her permission, I'm posting one of her poems from her 1995 book Mother Love, which loosely revolves around the Persephone and Demeter story from Greek mythology. This is not, by any means, her most recent book of poetry, but considering it's Mother's Day, it seemed vastly appropriate (her newest book, Sonata Mulattica came out last month--more on that in a later post).
In any case, to my beautiful, kind, brilliant mother on Mother's Day, I love you.
To all the other mothers in the world, Happy Mother's Day!
by Rita Dove
Just when hope withers, a reprieve is granted.
The door opens onto a street like in the movies,
clean of people, of cats; except it is your street
you are leaving. Reprieve has been granted,
"provisionally"--a fretful word.
The windows you have closed behind
you are turning pink, doing what they do
every dawn. Here it's gray; the door
to the taxicab waits. This suitcase,
the saddest object in the world.
Well, the world's open. And now through
the windshield the sky begins to blush,
as you did when you mother told you
what it took to be a woman in this life.