For All the Mothers. {poetry}


for mothers who carry inside them their whelp dreams
wipe cries from eyes of their whistle-thin child
who push all the pushchairs and frames around sick beds
wipe dribble, load drips whilst watching last breaths

for mothers with wheelchairs who stare back at pavements
for mothers with lapdogs who have two bad legs
for mothers whose rainbows press flint into sphincters
to breathe love and light into smiling decay

for black-and-blue mothers who blink through the crockery
hiding the card from the refuge that day
for mothers whose bodies hold millions of sorrys
their bodies dry leaves in a magazine pile

for mothers of gossip and scratch-carded hope
who pray every day with a recipe song
a childlessness whispering a sigh of dull feathers
a clockwork of marathons, petrified hair

mastectomied mothers, lopsided and bruised
hysterectomied mothers with holes in their souls
the book-birthing mothers who burn wicked histories
the mothers whose wombs shook the force of their birth

for daytime TV scattered nappied despair mums
for mothers with nannies who take all the care
for mothers of girls who are whistled and ogled at
like starlings in full view of a preying cat’s eyes

for mothers who midwife the blaze of a lion
for mothers born girl and are now bearded boy
for mothers in trousers and mothers in skirts
and mothers in duvets when everything hurts

for mothers of borders reclaiming their edges
from ledges of squares within towering blocks
for mothers who’re pouting and flout through car windows
to heat and to eat so their kids will be full

for mothers with silicone breasts and pumped lips
for mothers who rewrite the land-carving laws
mined mothers of diamonds and silicon, lithium
mothers with phones clicking like, love and lol

for mothers of sons who own guns on their hips
for mothers of kids in the high school of fear
for mothers of Nazis whose hate immolates
and mothers of tyrants who spew noxious rants

Kalashnikov mothers whose arms are protectors
the mothers who hide from the shells rained from drones
for mothers whose homes are a crumbling rubble
and mothers who shield eyes from drought-sodden sun

for mothers who hold down their girl for the blade
while festering screams for her own sweet lost bulb
tented grilled mothers hide blue hair calligraphy
mothers who drive with triumphant peace signs

for mothers who’re singing the songs of their homeland
and gaslighted mothers who question their truth
for mothers who choke on the guilt of their knowing
and mothers who wear all their shame like a cloak

for mothers whose car keys are weapons of night
the mothers in fright-shock each time that you bark
for mothers who cry and dry tears in hushed corners
the mothers whose rage locks them out in the dark

for mothers whose eyes have bled razors on thighbones
the mothers who drink their medicinal wine
for mothers who know you’d be better without them
the mothers on bridges and those talking them down

for mothers of bone who compost it with millipedes
mothers of earthquakes, reminders of feet
the mothers of twigs, roots and seeds in the breezes
the mothers who smoulder and burn like the trees

the mothers of dams that are holding drowned townscapes
the watery mothers whose kidneys clean poisons
the mothers of plastic and toxins and belchings
the lung mothers, breathe in so you can breathe out

for the Mother who holds all of everything in her
for mothers of mothers of mothers of mothers
protect her, look inside, what’s there is all outside
she’s you, is your mother, she’s you.


Max V. Beats is an artist and writer, with a focus on intersectional feminism, mental health and the natural world, based in the UK.


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