Sunday, May 08, 2011

Nursing You by Erica Jong

in memory of my mom: Tommie Dorris Williams Courington

Nursing You by Erica Jong

On the first night

of the full moon,

the primeval sack of ocean


& I gave birth to you

little woman,

little carrot top,

little turned-up nose,

pushing you out of myself

as my mother


me out of herself,

as her mother did,

& her mother's mother before her,

all of us born

of woman.

I am the second daughter

of a second daughter

of a second daughter,

but you shall be the first.

You shall see the phrase

"second sex"

only in puzzlement,

wondering how anyone,

except a madman,

could call you "second"

when you are so splendidly


conferring even on your mother

firstness, vastness, fullness

as the moon at its fullest

lights up the sky.

Now the moon is full again

& you are four weeks old.

Little lion, lioness,

yowling for my breasts,

rowling at the moon,

how I love your lustiness,

your red face demanding,

your hungry mouth howling,

your screams, your cries

which all spell life

in large letters

the color of blood.

You are born a woman

for the sheer glory of it,

little redhead, beautiful screamer.

You are no second sex,

but the first of the first;

& when the moon's phases

fill out the cycle

of your life,

you will crow

for the joy

of being a woman,

telling the pallid moon

to go drown herself

in the blue ocean,

& glorying, glorying, glorying

in the rosy wonder

of your sunshining wondrous