Each Jar Tied with Bright Red Ribbon
Why, turning, does my life
small itself so readily, restricting
its contours to the idea of making
homemade peanut butter with my daughter,
which leads my son to declare he will not
make anything for anybody, that he
dislikes Christmas in general and won’t
even eat the cookies this year, in protest.
Meanwhile I wonder if daughter rhymes
with peanut butter, once again my attention
riveted to the fleeting fascinations of my children:
the color wheel, weather, dinosaurs.
These become my metaphors but before
I’ve written anything they’ve moved on
to Greek myth, carnation pink.
Any of these worth an epic, a large canvas,
and I see how I could fit a few
naked women around the edges,
but my mind trends to handwork, the dropped
stitch no one else will notice.
1 reply on “Each Jar Tied with Bright Red Ribbon”
I’m a mother of a one-year-old, six months away from completing a PhD in English, and thinking about skipping the academic job market to stay at home, unschool my daughter, make healthy food, have more time for activism, be more present in my family life. I’ve spent her naptime searching for the words of other women (it’s a loaded decision for me as a feminist) to better understand this choice. These are the most important I’ve found, the poem reflects the constellation of hope, worry, doubt, potential, and fulfillment I feel at facing this decision.