My mother comes to me
with a smile and an egg in her hand;
places it in my palm, shows me how
to crack its orange shell, unfold
its rubbery overcoat, reveal
a tiny soft ball we name Moon.
In a soft voice, just for me,
my Mother explains how Moon
and I will always be
part of each other, in a shared journey
to womanhood: a rhythm
from ‘Then and Now’
The poem is all about communication between mother and daughter. It is centred on one object ‘the moon’ which has significant personal meaning and obviously it centres on motherhood and the shared journey of life through on-going birth.
The first stanza gives instruction on how to crack an egg. I’ve forgotten how I learnt to crack an egg on the side of a cup and open up the shell to pour it into a container without breaking the yoke. I can imagine mother and daughter together in the kitchen and the spontaneous thought on the naming of the yoke as moon.
And in the second stanza Jeanette’s mother softly takes the opportunity to state that always connection not only the birth link and physical DNA connection but you get a reinforcement of the latent mother-daughter bond – ‘always be part of each other’. It is one of those wonderful moments in life when each are fully receptive to one another and her mother shares on a very personal one to one basis – ‘just for me (her)’.
The moon is often seen as a symbol for mother and in this peom a reference to control; life and the on-going future of humanity in her hands.
I think we all can find a moment where an object, or perhaps a few words, have indelible significance from our childhood experience in communing with our parents on an intimate level.
And as would be expected the then becomes more precious with the differential from the now as we cherish memories from the past with age.
Janette gave me permission to share this poem on this Site. She is in our U3A Poetry Appreciation Group. The poem comes from her latest book recently launched in Canberra.