Originally published in Willow Springs 81

From the author

Notes on “Mother of Memory” and “Mother of Anxiety”

I wrote these poems late into my pregnancy, as I was living in a fog—equal parts exhaustion and awe—and attempting to make sense of what felt like an endless season of waiting. Ideas about birth, creation, origin, what it means to make something and make meaning of something felt—still feels—like rich and dense territory to explore. The equation I’m trying to work out has to do with motherhood and poetry, human beings as embodiments of ars poetica—the muse and the maker. These are strange poems to me, written during a strange time.

Music, Food, Booze, Tattoos, Kittens, etc.

Now, I have a son. He’s the greatest poem I could have imagined. And every single cliche about babies is true after all. It is so hard—the body gets wrecked, and then, in my case at least, so does the mind. It is a love so intense that it is only barely bearable and I think I will explode like a star. I do very little these days except stare at him, commit him to memory, hour by hour. He is the poem; I am living on the inside of it.

About Allison Seay

Allison Seay is the recipient of fellowships from the Ruth Lilly Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.  She is the author of a book of poems, To See the Queen, and has placed work in such journals as Gettysburg Review, Field, and Poetry. She is the Associate for Religion and the Arts at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church and lives in Richmond, Virginia.