I lived on eggshells once, with my lover. I ate eggs for every meal.
Listen, the lake keeps chipping into white glass.
I do my best, but I hate spring. It asks too many questions.
We are ordered to stay home and look at flowers.
I am sick of blossoming into a mother. Sick of wondering
if I will ever have another child.
At night, finally. The egg-like moon always itself, if invisible.
I sleep in these clothes. I am a museum of dried roses.
Each winter my child eats icicles and doesn’t catch a fever. I can’t believe it.
I’ve been screaming again, like it’s perfectly normal.
I stare at the crocuses for an hour, as encouraged. I wash my fingernails.
I feel holy when I vow to love unconditionally, in a quiet tone of voice,
at all times.
Click here to read Julia Anna Morrison on the origin of the poem.
Image: “Crocuses” by Maria Keays, licensed under CC 2.0.
Julia Anna Morrison:
I’ve always been skeptical of spring, of its associations with motherhood, of its unease. To me, spring breeds anxiety of storms, of taking off my coat in public, of going out into the world. “Dispatch” was the first poem I wrote in quarantine, in March 2020. I was sitting at my kitchen table in Iowa, my five-year-old son watching a Mo Willem’s drawing tutorial. The world had become a snow globe in a matter of days, and spring was coming. At this point I was more terrified of spring, of daffodil, of hyacinth, of violet, of the new pressures of motherhood, than the virus. And as the days passed, as I carved a routine for my son that included spending most of the day outside, I softened, took off my coat. I started to appreciate spring; I was experiencing it in slow motion, as if for the first time, my son trailing behind me on our morning walks looking for fairies. He wasn’t at all afraid of the crocuses flowering (and why should he be?) or the air smelling like thawing earth. We kept notes of the colors, of the blossoms, of the petal numbers, in a small diary. I taught my son to draw flowers, to spell “love.” Spring was gentler than I had ever known, quieter, bright but not too bright; it let me in slowly. “Dispatch” is a reckoning with starts—with spring, with raising an only child, and with the intensely emotional experience of mothering in a pandemic.