Young Clotho spins new Thread of Life,
She holds Fate’s spindle taut. Precise
Lachesis measures life’s strand’s length,
Thus governs lifetime’s span and lot.
And Atropos, death’s agent, cuts
The mortal thread that Clotho wrought.
When I first burst from mother’s womb,
Three Fates were watching o’er my room.
Lachesis doled me ample thread,
And so, in time, I grew to be
The mother of my own young Three.
Upon my bosom all three drank;
They slept and flourished there. Across
Ten years, four jobs, three homes – I nursed
Away their sorrows, hurts, and scares.
And now I know our nursing age
(Which one year past, met poignant end)
Was in itself a life, a thread,
Spun, drawn, and sheared by three small Fates.
My eldest son precisely spun
That nursing thread with infant’s cord.
His warm-breathed suckling sutured closed
The wound my late son’s loss exposed.
My younger boy, for four years straight,
Was nursing life’s allotting Fate.
He lengthened thread, bridged start and end –
Became his sister’s nursing mate.
My Three’s sole girl, at three years old,
Adroitly sheared our tender twine
When, blonde crown bowed, she deftly swore,
“I don’t need boo-boo anymore.”
And from these Fates I deem my Three,
I’ve learned the joys of genesis –
I’ve learned there’s silent eloquence
In birth, in growth – in severance.
From newborn’s threaded cry all Three
Ascend—beginning, middle, end.
Mindy Watson writes: “The Three is an internally/intermittently rhymed poem in (mostly) iambic tetrameter, equating my three children to three Greek Fates who taught me, via our respective breastfeeding “threads,” to cherish all beginnings, middles, and ends. I’m enduringly sentimental about this one, which represents not only my first published poem (originally appearing in the Quarterday Review’s October 2016 Samhaim issue) and my first creative post-grad school venture (although I’d majored in nonfiction/science writing rather than poetry)—but also my first attempt at articulating (and externalizing) my children’s and my seemingly endless nursing journey… a year after its bittersweet conclusion.”
Mindy Watson is a formal verse poet and federal writer who holds an MA in Nonfiction Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her poetry has appeared in venues including Snakeskin, Think Journal, the Poetry Porch, Orchards Poetry Journal, Better Than Starbucks, Eastern Structures, the Quarterday Review, and Star*Line. She’s also appeared in Sampson Low’s Potcake Poets: Form in Formless Times chapbook series and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association’s 2019 Dwarf Stars Anthology. You may read her work at:
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