Mothers, Fathers, clasp the children by Judy Grahn

Mothers, fathers, clasp the children

Mothers, fathers, clasp the children, tie them to your breast
and beam like flashlights, hold the children praise them with buckets
of raspberries, shiny as jelly, give them you.
Show them they are green-worthy as grass in rain, lofty as kite-flying by the Bay,
sharp as sunrise after an ice-storm.
Grasp them, study their eyes, talk to them
like kittens.
Tell them they have the sturdy grace of deer,
communal peace of stones, generosity
of the sea, able, able, capable and ready.
Tell them they can learn to be happy
no matter what else is true.
Mothers fathers grip the children with bearpaws of glee,
press them to your hearts,
sing high into their precious ears,
drip strawberry down through their lives,
tell the sons they are ships and shores,
tell the daughters they are mountains
and towns that will thrive a hundred years,
say the world is sending them a ticket,
they just need to find the train that’s theirs.
Oh winds of change, gather the wounded
boys and girls of all rages
into your giant arms, blow brotherly breath
between their fierce sad eyes,
unclench their wish
for motherly porridge, pour fatherly tears
of crooning through their bliss-hungry lips
and tell them this one truth:
When we find or make that motherplace
our vessels heal, contain no leaks
and all around us love pours in, red cells pulse
burning away bleakness,
red cells flash as curious pretty fishes
spelling the words
this is my darling life, and this is enough.


Judy Grahn