Mine - For C. There were times I left my tools at the top. There were times I pitched against the rock against my will against you sedimentary, fixed to everything around me. Therein a song of the dark lit a little by shine off the walls. I thought I made you but you were there all along; the body’s way of working itself into the future. I thought tools were enough to bring you out they were not. I did not know your own necessary seismicity; that you would force me back to the surface and the only substance left the only thing substantial is the words i give you to go along with the toil (the words come back to me now) (your words you form out of your own dark toil) The heavy work of digging you out of the cleft of the seam is nothing against the work of letting you go, placing you in the truck heading for the surface where the air is not always light and blessed. And (at this moment) to know the truck that takes you. To know the truck takes you, but not know where or if there is burning at the end.
Rubric — for A. For a second, I see a sort of Pieta in reverse as you ease my sneaker onto my right foot and then the left, with a glance of tender knowledge, as if your eyes were not made for tears. When you were born I fought nature. I lay on the bed for weeks after, floating in the Red Sea; I wanted to take you back to the midwife, but I pretended to be your boat without holes. I mimed songs, smiles, and at night I raged uselessly against the tide of your cries; sleepless and hungry us both. And then one day I almost sang the shanty of love, and when I held you it was like tilting a chalice of wine to my lips, on my knees. Then I meant it when I buttoned your tiny coat against cold. I meant it when I eased small socks, slight as wafers, over cool toes. I meant to be your mother. You know I was meant to be your mother, as you ease my shoes on with the reciprocal gaze of the blessed.
Andreea Holland’s publications include Broadcasting (Gatehouse Press) which won the Norfolk Commission for Poetry and Borrowed (Smith/Doorstop) as well as individual poems in journals and anthologies in the UK and USA, including The Rialto, andotherpoems.com and The World Speaking Back – poems for Denise Riley. I teach Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and sit on the Board of the European Association of Creative Writing Programs and also on the NAWE Higher Ed. committee. I’ve published articles on poetry, creative writing pedagogy and collaborative practice, including for The Portable Poetry Workshop (Palgrave/Macmillan) and I live in Norwich with my sons and a Romanian rescue dog.