A Mother’s Heart Lives in Her Throat

Photo by Melissa Wiley

Something there is that does love a wall,
that sends the gangly boy-limbs clambering up

and bids the mother not to fuss or call
out words of caution, not to spoil the bliss

of racing, arms outspread, along the bricks,
along the road that crests the world, the whole

huge world six cinder blocks and seven leagues
below. The boy is king, is wind, and she

must hush: just study shrubs in neighbors’ yards,
imagine herself a Seventies mom, unfazed

by threats to skull, spine, ulna, femur.
He shouts, he leaps; the earth (a mother too)

shivers, lets loose the cord of gravity
this once, just once, and also on the next

block, the next wall, each ridge that lures
him skyward all the long way home.



This poem originally appeared at Here in the Bonny Glen. The first line is, of course, a nod to Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall.”