Psalms for a Child Who Has Lost Her Mother

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Psalms for a Child Who Has Lost Her Mother

These are powerful poems that capture loss, not only the loss of a mother, but of the “birthright” of memory and mourning.

The 23 poems in the collection explore love and loss, the mother-daughter bond, the search for identity and connection.

The first section records the events, the death, and the child’s exclusion:
At the graveside in the hot June sun,/if I had been there/in a smocked yellow dress/and white patent shoes,/helping to toss the earth,/ the shovel too heavy,/watching the dirt spill down./I would have known/in my fingertips,/in my toes,/in my arms, shivering in a heatwave,/what never was spoken,/never was allowed to be said.

The second part clarifies the nature of this loss, of the shared identity of mother and child, beautifully expressed as: The echo in your words,/your deeds,/the voice whispering in your head./The chorus for your enthusiasm,/the oxygen for your breath.

We gather that the father remarries, and we feel the resulting dislocation and confusion: “You could almost miss the cast change as the play continued on.”

Book Information

Author: Carol Japha

ISBN-10: 1622298977

ISBN-13: 978-1622298976

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