Clay allowed itself to be tough and flexible,
to become a plate with a roller and wooden beams,
because that’s how it has always been.

The loose structure has disappeared,
little pots made with joy,
with handles and lids,
following a pattern like a framework,
and round like a soul that is touched.

The mother needs an oven,
after the first cesarean section,
a cold birth without labor pains,
the agony turned out to be unnecessary.

And he wakes up on his back,
laughs with his arms raised,
a voice like a testament to life,
gives God back his breath.

Another birth is approaching,
Her body has understood it well,
An eye looks wise and closes calmly,
Sleep is visible in his palm.

“I must feed them, they are mine,
Protect them both from harm.”
On the stove, I cook their porridge,
With a vigilant eye, I follow their steps.

The porridge is on the fire,
Day after day, a sacred hour,
For feeding mouths,
That they understood throughout the ages.

Every second is one that counts,
a mother is supposed to
flawlessly know what her task is,
so every decision is precise.

But with sorrow, you stand utterly alone,
So without a mother around,
dedicating boundless time
to young children.

And then, no child clinging to your skirt,
They stand on their own feet,
And you stand weeping in your corner,
For the sound that has disappeared.

It is finished, you didn’t know,
That it would intervene so much in your life,
And now, as you survey all your years,
You know you are forever intertwined with them.

©Eddie van Aken, poetry collection: Wolkenridder 2020

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