The Forest Dweller’s Diary
1. My Mother

My mother is filled with the god's fruit
She is as big as a watermelon
Ripe as a burst plum

My mother, who is as small as a cactus,
Shriveled by drought
Has been filled by the god.

She no longer works in the town
Scrubbing and dusting
She no longer kneels by the river
To wring away the soil and soap

She lies in the dusk
Under the thatch roof
And waits with her loadstone belly
And her hands of blasted clay

With her hair of burnt weeds
My mother is returning to the god

The first mother was a mountain
Clad with the hair of blooming trees
Violet flowers, vine tresses trailing weeds

She moved through the waters
Dragging lily pads
And parrots dropped from her bangs
Donkeys from her buttocks, jaguars from her breasts

From the first woman came abundance
Everything she touched overflowed
And blossomed before her honeyed gaze

But my mother is burdened
By the god’s debris

Alex Sager

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