Early Motherhood: Three Poems by Sheila Hageman

Falling Into Sky

The first time you gazed up at a tree—
September green and splotchy red
underside branches. Like thin baby
veins, blue spreading. Smoky cloud
edges appear through leaf
openings; little brown cracked
rims on green newness. Fading. Layers
of thickening, breaking open
at the top. Yellow splotchy
sun; to fall upward into open sky
with the vast blueness
awaiting. Your limp warm body; the trunk
begins behind us, ends
underground. The lawn
Great Grandpa birthed
our house from. Stones upon
his land; unearthed.

Through me

If I don’t text these words into my iPhone
How will I remember the acorns were falling hard and bouncing
Disheveled little branches scattered the driveway
Cole brushed them aside with each small first step
From the stones
Step bend sweep and sweep

Genny moans, it’ll take forever, I have to pee
She won’t go in alone, I’m scared

The single blooming rose—not on your birth day, but close
And the arranging of schedules so I could be induced
The blowing rustle of the breeze past neighbors’ trees
The flood of blood that sweeps through me today with you
Nursing on my lap

This noticing I’ve not done in so long

Step Two plastic slide scuffed
red green dirt from others’ Freecycled feet

A plastic house for toddlers
with plastic beet carrot onion

Driveway separating our house from Grandma and Grandpa’s
Now in probate; a home full

Yellow garbage can still outside
Taped up blue recycling bin
Deflated pool on picnic bench

To see my crossed legs—and flip-flips
I could be my mother
Being watched by her mother

Until you squawk and remind me
I’m the mom

A red yellow blue broken basketball

Soft pastels of leaning stacks of folding chairs
against the wall
Me climbing when I was young, or
A photo of me
plump, without

Sheila Hageman is a multi-tasking mother of three. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College, CUNY. She teaches Yoga, Creative Writing, Composition and Literature. She has been published by Salon, Conversely and Moxie and blogs at www.strippermom.blogspot.com.

Read an interview with Sheila: “Yoga, Body Image, and Motherhood vs. Stripping: An Interview with Sheila Hagemen,” by Tania Pryputniewicz, March 16, 2010.

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