Jan Seagrave: “Clay”

Clay

My mother’s lap was bony and thin
I wanted one wide and welcoming

With small muddy fingers
I made a Venus figurine
squatting on a clay kitchen chair
and glazed her with pewter slip
down to her unformed feet

For her bosom
two lumps big as her head
rolled to perfect spheres
stuck on her dress
Her braided hair coiled
face featureless save a nose

Now my mother lies
as white as clay on the ocean floor
A kelp forest sprouts from her breast
Her lap has flattened
and gained geography

At night her calcified head
rolls in to fill my room
I enter quiet through her mouth
Strings of pale lanterns reveal
the red tapestries of a temple

Her lips close to keep me in darkness
then release me as a royal tern


Jan Seagrave lives beside an oak and a redwood north of Golden Gate Bridge. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Panoplyzine; San Pedro River Review; Gyroscope Review; Eunoia Review; Amethyst Review; Reverberations II (ed. Pendergast); Marin Poetry Center Anthology 2016, 2017, 2021; Redwood Writers Poetry Anthology 2018-2021; Amore: Love Poems (ed. Tucker). 

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