~ ‘Mother and Child’, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 19th century, detail.
After I posted my announcement and thoughts on "my old Mum,” I got a letter from e-friend and poet, jan-u-wine, whose work I have posted several times when she has written things inspired by Frodo Art Travesty manips. It turns out that the black-and-white photograph I had posted of me and my mother (petting the little dog), reminded her of a poem she had written about her own mother. She wrote it after her mother had died, inspired by an old black-and-white snapshot of her and her mother, when she was a baby.
Jan-u-wine’s poem speaks beautifully to many things we said, talking about our relationships with our mothers, in the comments section after that post.
I realise I am about to leave, but I really wanted to post this poem right away, because it caught the flavour of what many of you said so feelingly and eloquently in your comments.
As a note, Jan-u-wine found this lovely painting of a mother and child by Bouguereau. I had told her I wanted to find a painting to illustrate the post, preferable a mother wearing pearls. "The woman IS wearing a necklace," she said wryly, "though not of pearls"....
The Bridge of Pearls
of she and me:
gleam about her neck.
I don't remember.
I was too small to remember.
She looked happy though,
as only babies do.
I hold the necklace in both hands,
a bridge of beads....
as if the moon and planets
were held tight in the interval
And I think on pearls, and the sea,
and the moon
the nature of bridges.
And I think on how
is like the sea,
roaring and foaming and sliding with
joyous abandon upon the shore
and tiptoeing with a whisper
as it departs.
And I think how we
are like pearls,
sand from the fingers of God
held in the shell of His fragile earth,
tumbled and turned by the winds and currents of life.
And I think on the bridge,
the bridge between
with hope inside it,
presses me close,
and the world becomes smaller,
she and me.
And a necklace, strung like moon-pearls against her
It lies, incomplete, now, in my hand.
I broke it,
watched in silence as the pearls fell and rolled
beneath sundry furniture.
What does it matter,
what is one necklace, one pearl,
in the great wideness
of the world?
I bow my head
and do not know how to go on without that one pearl.
~ Full view of Bourguereau's ‘Mother and Child’....
~ Jan-u-wine's Lord of the Rings-based poetry is here.
~ Previous post on “Old Mums” here.
Further note: Since I am leaving tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m., I may not be able to speak to any comments for a while. But do leave comments if you are moved to do so; I will be sending the link to jan-u-wine.