Every Mother's Son

by Aaron Blair

Every mother's son must die,
though you'll pray to god not to be that mother,
and swear to him it won't be your son,
rail against the flesh of trees closing in to house him,
and the ground clamoring to get at his bones.
You never imagined his red skin withered,
when he slid out of you, into a world you didn't control,
but it came to pass anyway, the light going down
and then disappearing, a voice your ear will never hear again.
Now you're a caution to all those other women sending
their issue out into the wild, a smell they shy away from.
You are what they will be someday, and they hate you for it,
and you hate them for being what you can never be again,
a mother to a son who thinks the world will never end.


Author's Note: My cousin died last week. This is for my aunt.

Posted on 12/04/2008
Copyright © 2023 Aaron Blair

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Sarah Wolf on 12/04/08 at 06:02 PM

A beautiful expression of a loss... with greatest sympathy...

Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 12/04/08 at 06:12 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss. Obviously, I didn't know him, but I would still venture to call this a fitting tribute.

Posted by Colleen Sperry on 12/04/08 at 06:49 PM

I am so sorry for your family's loss..

Posted by George Hoerner on 12/04/08 at 07:26 PM

Exceptionally fine way to write about the grief you are experiencing.

Posted by Kathleen Wilson on 12/30/08 at 04:56 PM

No ordinary lament, but bold images, and memorable. The powerful "flesh of trees closing..." and the "ground clamoring to get.." the basic natural forces of "the wild a smell they shy away"... a tribute to the poetic voice and the mother who can hear this, and to the human species, aware of it's own deeply fragile being...

Posted by Kathleen Wilson on 12/30/08 at 05:01 PM

The title has great impact, it is a very old expression, really... 16th century? And then accrued more connotations but the everyone of it is basic, then a sad (and musical) overtone, then in this case specific (this mother and son) as well as all.

Posted by Mo Couts on 10/18/12 at 11:33 PM

Wow. You definitely know how to do a poem well, Aaron. What a lamentation for your aunt, and cousin, too.

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