The Body Mother Made Me
The body mother made me
My lips, her smile stretched across sorrow
and one tooth lost with each child born.
The body she seeded for me
Nine Greek moons to grow, twelve more to suck,
years to wean and teethe and cry.
These breasts she planted as buds
bloom for her,
flower in my veiled night movements,
swell at full moon with her secret musk.
These feet she fashioned for me
danced for her,
in her mountain village square,
stepped the map of her maiden soles.
The hands mother kneaded me
labour for her.
My hands pull wild greens, stir her pot,
my fingers light the lamp of the dead.
This voice she gifted me
keens for her,
Doric modes hummed into my breath,
ocean hymns of leaving but always coming home.
These eyes mother lent light to
look for her.
My eyes leak her tears now,
now that she is dissolved to bone.
Maria Vouis was born in Greece and lives in Adelaide. She is a bilingual page / performance poet, a vocalist and teacher, and specialises in classic form poetry, though does also venture into free verse. She was a finalist in the Goolwa Poetry Cup 2017, the Hunter Valley Writers Centre ‘Grieve Anthology’, also in 2017, has had Poems of the Month awards from Friendly Street Poets, and was one of the three featured poets in the 2018 edition of Friendly Street Poets’ New Poets series, details of which can be found here. Maria has also contributed theatre reviews to InDaily.
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