Mother's Day- May 6th, 2020
By Dilruba Ahmed
Drawn to melancholy. Prone
to isolation. Secret heart, tight
as a lock. Tries to seem mysterious yet
longs to be known. May be known,
at times, to be spontaneous, even funny
but more often caught up
in imagination. Prone to long
periods of reflection. May seek
crowds to feel anonymous. Ambivalent
about crowds and the general order
of things. Prone to confusion.
Prone to self-sabotage. Prone
to lateness. Moody, judgmental,
at the core. Observer. Healer.
Idealist. Easily distracted.
Prone to quitting. Daydreams
about others and
a sense of closeness.
There is no perfect mother.
For most of human history, motherhood was not a right, but an inevitability, the consequence of closeness, of marriage, sometimes a happiness, sometimes a burden, a blessing, a weapon. Now that we can choose, (mostly,) it still is as complicated as an Escher, fraught with beauty and pain, boredom and guilt, love, fear, joy and drudgery.
Although not about motherhood, I think Dilruba Ahmed’s poem captures the essence of wanting to be apart and wanting to be a part, to be known and unknown, that is motherhood. *
I think Catherine would understand.
So Happy Mother’s Day, to all mothers and children of mothers. May we celebrate by giving space to every amazing and complicated feeling.
And now, without further ado, Home: Chapter 20
Rind, by M.C. Escher, (from the M.C. Escher Foundation).
* “Zodiac” is from Dilruba Ahmed’s new book Bring Now the Angels: Poems, available from