So Much More than Mother


I’ve been so immersed in the concept of the Dark Goddess lately, and the way the four major asteroids help us to negotiate the world, that it shouldn’t have surprised me that a synchronicity would show itself.  I moved my office from the second floor to the ground floor recently in order to literally get more light (more metaphoric light wouldn’t hurt, either).  In cleaning out the old den, a poem that I wrote for my mother back in 1988 emerged from the rubble.   I’ve never shared it with anyone outside the family, but as a tribute to my mother I’m putting it up in honor of the holiday.  It isn’t elegant or sophisticated, but it’s genuine.  For me, it goes deep.  I still vividly remember that long-ago feeling of being liberated, and still have the thrill of it from time to time.  That’s a Moon/Uranus conjunction for you.  The need for freedom is deeply entrenched.

As someone who doesn’t have children, I’ve always felt that Mother’s Day was about so much more than motherhood.  Not to take anything away from the mothers who feed us and clothe us and sacrifice for us and go beyond what is humanly possible in order to keep us alive and balanced and on the right road.  But it seems to me that Mother’s Day is also about guidance and fortitude and living by example.  A celebration of all the potential and possibilities ahead of us and the lengths we go to nurture them.  About the strength it takes to make the un-manifest, manifest, which is all about the power of the sign Cancer.

So in tribute to the goddesses and to my Mom, Stella, and for all of us who have struggled to be free, an old poem about an earlier time.


The woman with the long brown ponytail pulled tight,

Flicking cigarette butts through the window

Of an Oldsmobile convertible in nineteen sixty-three

Taught me freedom.

I am six. And we ride

This blue-white stallion down

The highways. For one day

We steal the thunder,

Two cowgirls heading out of town

To the wide, wild world beyond.

We have left behind my father

By his iron factory gate,

The dark-brown, smoky world

Of work and men.

The clouds are high and full,

The sky is the same hue as our upholstery,

And we fly the Jersey streets,

Sing ‘Volare’ with the radio in full voice.

Neither knows the words, nor cares.

I am sprung from the pencil-prison of my school,

She from four walls she chose in a mad time;

And together we just drive

Wind in our faces

For the sacred sake of driving.

We go on forever.

All day we ride and sing,

And pass each mile-marker with weird wonder

As if it were a tombstone we had passed;

Each road behind a triumph

Each town a newly conquered land.

And only now I understand—

So many hard-fought lands amassed—

That this is where I learned

That this is what a woman does

When she is free

Of all imposed and self-made prisons.

Nineteen sixty-three returns each time

I ride an open, unknown road

To an unfamiliar clime.


Copyright 1988 by Dawn Bodrogi, all rights reserved.

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