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Strategies for Mothers in the Age of This Age

If there's a solar eclipse, stay in. It's too much
to watch the erosion of light we thought was certain.

But let's not call it terrariumed. We'll still hold
the same escalator railings, ride in the same

commuter trains, carry the same signs and groceries
and guilt. We'll just snag a little less. Mothers,

I know we used to wander our dark like spelunkers.
I know we had head lamps and ropes. Like bats

we knew the pings of our limits, and unlike bats,
pushed past them. But now with the news alerts

buzzing. Now with that starving polar bear.
Now with the "Gun-Free Zone" signs on the doors

of the kindergarten. Now with everything balanced
on the thinnest of threads that we know not to test

for tension. So what if we armor ourselves
with horn sections? So what if we recite state capitals

in the shower's echo chamber, or avoid the sad
billboard eyes of the boat donation girl? So what

if sometimes we set down the armfuls of nails
and brambles, shut off the radio? We know

the shutting off is so we can listen. We know
the setting down is so we can pick up and carry.

Catherine Pierce

Five Points

Vol. 18, No. 3

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