‘Motherhood Mary (Madonna)’ by Rachel Small

Madonna and Child St. Mary of the Cataract

Mary might have chosen a life for herself
Separate from the indigo sky folds
of her robes. Her hands could have
grasped onto the strings of girlhood-
Of beeswax candles positioned bedside;
bits of pressed flowers concealed under
stacked books and cups of chamomile
tea; a list of names written against the veins
of her wrist or snatches of romances held in
her hands by a setting tangerine sun. Honey is
poured from her cup until it smears across a dirt
floor, left to sit. Her choices lie amongst it all.

Rachel Small writes in Ottawa. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in magazines, including ottawater, many gendered mothers, The Hellbore, The Shore, and other places. She was the recipient of honourable mention for the John Newlove Poetry Award for her poem “garbage moon and feminist day”. You can find her on twitter @rahel_taller.