The Labor Of Love

Poem By Amberlee Carter

My mother stands in the doorway, her
back arched beneath the pressure of wind-
she beats the rug until, dust encircles her.
She wipes her brow, tugs at the scarf
she wears around her neck to
catch the sweat- the coil
of thread and color lays limp
in her fist.

My father sits at the kitchen table,
doodling our future on his yellow, Mead pad-
drawing figures and graphs, he deciphers
the puzzle of numbers that has become
the essential language of our survival-
then he begins to tap the pen against the paper,
an uncoordinated rhythm that
always seems to make my mother nervous-
she turns from the business of cleansing,
he taps his coffee cup once against
the rustic dining table- she looks at it,
studies it as if it were a glimpse into
the legacy, she has, for one moment, set down-
stepped away from the proverbial
role of wife, and became goddess like-

This cup that sits before her, embodies the tyranny
of every Titan she’s destroyed- and when
she takes it between her delicate fingers,
lifting it from his grasp, with every intention of
mangling it-
he looks up at her with a faint smile-

and she, after having the thought
of throwing his favorite cup
against the wall, just to watch it
shatter into a thousand pieces,
that would pierce his heart- she nods,
pours one more day of devotion into it-
holds it with all her might,
presses her lips to the rim
to sip the excess....cradles it
between both hands-

Then as though her shoulders
hadn’t buckled beneath
the pressure of his world:
gives it back to him....lets it go.

Comments about The Labor Of Love

this utterly blows me away. well done once again, Amberlee! Jake
Too beautiful Amberlee, once again I'm in your debt!

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