a country girl
she had rosy cheeks 
the legacy of working 
beneath the open sky
a twinkle in her eye
she worked her spells 
growing market vegetables
her two daughters running free
climbing trees and skinning knees

my girl has long since flown the nest
and although I know I was not the best
mother she has thrived and multiplied
and I am reincarnated 
in grand motherhood

a mother floats above a lake
she is possessed by light and water
and the ghost of her daughter
suckling at her breast
her hair is caught 
in the branches of a withered tree
although there are no footprints 
in the snow she is in the company
of other mothers

are they entangled in their destiny?

Kim M. Russell, 21st April 2022

The Evil Mothers (1894) by Giovanni Segantini

It’s 21st April and today’s prompt asks us to write a poem in which we: recall someone we used to know closely but are no longer in touch with; write about a job we used to have but no longer do; and then a piece of art that we saw once and that has stuck with us over time; closing the poem with an unanswerable question.

The piece of art I chose to write about is a painting that struck me the first time I visited The Belvedere in Vienna. I had been so excited about seeing Klimt artwork up close and personal that I passed this painting by, but it caught my eye, I went back and was so entranced by it that I bought a poster of it, had it framed, and it hangs above the fireplace in our dining room.

7 thoughts on “Mothers

  1. This is so beautiful. What an incredible tribute to motherhood.

    “and I am reincarnated”

    “she is possessed by light and water
    and the ghost of her daughter
    suckling at her breast
    her hair is caught
    in the branches of a withered tree”

    Those are my very favorite lines.


  2. Kim, before I start, my calendar said that this is the day for your cateract surgery. I hope all went well for you, I’ve been praying for this and for you.
    Although today I wrote of van Gogh, of the contemporary American artists Peter Max is my favorite. We went to one of his exhibitions and we chatted bit. Since I saw it I have been liking his “Angel with Heart” painting. I would liked to have had a print of that but even this print was beyond my budget for art. He donated the original to the Heart Museum here in our Houston Medical Center. I am a pioneer recipient of the “stent graft repair” for the AAA, Abdominal Artery Aneurysm, nonsurgical repair.
    Again, best wishes for your recovery. And thank you for peeking in on me this morning. We spent the morning at our Houston Methodist Hospital for Mrs. Jim’s Long COVID doctoring, we both have some left from our disastrous cruise, ending in Southampton, Portsmouth, and Heathrow. She is worse off with her breathing. My worst is cups of snot and flem. Also I can’t taste or smell.


    1. Oh Jim, thank you so much for thinking of me. The surgeon said the operation went very well and I will be called back in four or five weeks to have the other cataract removed and lens replaced. At the moment, I am wearing a clear eye shield and have two kinds of drops three times a day. My sight is still blurred but will improve, hopefully quite quickly.
      I am so sorry that you and Mrs Jim are still suffering from Covid. It sounds awful. My husband has it just over a month ago but it was just like a cold, having had all of our jabs. I have been negatively along. I hope Mrs Jim’s breathing improves and that you get back taste and smell, two important senses.
      I’m going to try to write a poem this morning and to read as many as possible. Best wishes to you both.


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