“Nursing Mother Commutes” (Oddly based on Kandinsky).


Yesterday, I had the fun and honor of hosting dVerse Poets Pub Poetics prompt, challenging people to write about undercurrents–the layers of a moment or experience.   I was not very pleased by my own poem, which I had cut hugely before posting.  I tend to think that almost all poems are a bit too long; but I worried all day that I had eviscerated it.  (Ugh.)

But the great thing about blogging is that you learn to just move on to the next thing.  So, here’s a new poem for MagPie Tales, hosted by Tess Kincaid.  The poem is based upon the Kandinsky overhead (Red Spot II).

Nursing Mother’s Trip Home

She runs, takes stairs aslant by twos,
tethered purse banging at purposeful
hip, diagonals by the commuter who
doesn’t have a nursing baby at home, weaves
around this woman with the slow high heels, that backpack
that blocks her dash, this stack
of newspapers–anything that would collapse
the pace pounding her brain; pushes
onto her next train, squeezing her newly reduced
body between limbs, suppressing inner
relief sob, pulling slash
of coat from pinch of train doors; leans for the
long part of the ride–the passage beneath
the river–against
the conductor’s silver
booth, trying now
to control her chest–the harsh
breath of hurry, the milk whose heated
seep already pushes
her nipples,
stopping only in her 1-2-3
to pray for no stoppage, no moment of
slowdown between shores when she will feel crushed
by crinkle and murk, the image of tons
of river overhead–even as she knows –she does
not need to tell herself, she knows it
so absolutely–that nothing, not even a burst
of flood through train’s fluorescence—-will keep
her from getting home.

It is only the delay that crazes
her–the time it takes from
this grey metal door to
her infant at her breast–for
she knows, yes,
in every mote of
her being she knows,
that it is only
a matter of time.



(P.S. I am also linking this to Imperfect Prose.  Have a great week. K.)

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24 Comments on ““Nursing Mother Commutes” (Oddly based on Kandinsky).”

  1. You have certainly captured the frenzy in this. I can see how the painting would evoke that. Nice work!

  2. Pat Hatt Says:

    Taking time out at the end, as yeah only matter of time until crazy ensues indeed, more crazy than not most of the time.

  3. And an ouch at the end of it if the baby is teething LOL
    Frantic paced read. I felt the sense of urgency in this 🙂

  4. Taylor Says:

    only a matter of time,

    lovely story on her….

  5. Heaven Says:

    I felt her urgency and need for speed…you took me back to my breast feeding days ~ Nice one ~

  6. hedgewitch Says:

    Wow–amazing you got that from the image–which looked to me like a raw heart on a plate bracketed by a boomerang with a head, a super bowl trophy and some planets–(I’m stuck on representational art, obviously)–but it does have the sort of hectic, divided quality that’s in your poem. That urgency to provide, to nurture, yet be forced by circumstance to endure the grueling journey through distance and enforced separation, is very immediate and intense. And it is a bit similar in feel, though not import, to yesterday’s, which I liked very much, as I do this one.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. Of course, it’s a poem that’s been in the back of my head for a while, but it seemed to me to fit with the Kandinsky–the kind of swirling tubes, and red heart breast. I didn’t look at the painting doing it (which might have helped the poem, I suppose), but at this point, I think it’s enough to just use the prompt as a starting off point and not to get too stuck on it. (I don’t know if that’s right, but it was for today anyway.)

  7. Christine Says:

    I felt sudden sensations reading this, amazing how the mind remembers.

  8. brian Says:

    nice…first you did a great job at dverse yesterday…really a fine job…on this, you knocked it our of the park…you really brought it to life in all of its frenzy and gave it great meaning as well…it is all a matter of time and that space all too small…

  9. David King Says:

    I think Kandinsky would have been thrilled by this, a verse version of his painting, the one as original and expressive as the other. I see your verse as a way of skipping round the materialistic images he was trying to avoid, – impossible when the medium is words.

  10. booguloo Says:

    My wife used to say I had no idea. Now I believe her.

  11. zongrik Says:

    no matter how much you want to get home, seems like something is always there to stop you from getting home, which is also a metaphor for reaching our goals in life, in general

    iron mased fighter

  12. When time is limited it seems that everything becomes an obstacle. Clever write that left me breathless with its urgency!

    Anna :o]

  13. Bodhirose Says:

    Absolutely could relate to that frantic nursing mother…the urgency in this is palpable…excellent!

  14. Jen C Hay Says:

    Hi, I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. If you want more info, click here (If technology stops hating on me and actually works this time! ) >> http://jenchay.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/abc-award-versatile-blogger-award-and-7×7-link-award/

  15. Sue Anderson Says:

    I’ve felt this feeling before and for the same reasons.
    I felt it again in your poem today.
    Well done!


  16. To get that from the image is something special.

    You’ve captured Kandinsky’s energy so well here. Just a wonderful piece.

    Still, that from that image? Damn that’s good.

  17. Doctor FTSE Says:

    A real strong sense of the anxiety that come with fear of being late, with powerful imagery and description of the train journey. Really good.

  18. Tess Kincaid Says:

    Such an evocative write…I well remember that heated seep…excellent…

  19. there is such energy in this… i am there, i am that woman… well done!

  20. kd sullivan Says:

    I think that you’re too hard on yourself. I felt the craziness and panic of your subject. I always feel like the new kid on the block over at d’Verse, even though they are so kind! I would love for you to share your thoughts with us over at Painting Prose as well. Please say yes!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much. Of course, I’ll check it out. I’m a bit under the weather at the moment, but I will absolutely look you guys up. K.

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