For My Mother, Dying

Here you’re dying and all
I can think of is birth
             and how you are,
as ever, more

than meets the eye: both
laboring mother and stubborn
infant laboring too,
             tunneling toward

what isn’t wheeling
seagulls, not a hammered silver
             bay—toward what’s nothing
I can name:

so much everything
             and all at once,
                          all particle, all wave.

Listen to this poem:

For My Mother, Dying, a poem by Catherine Abbey Hodges

Photo used under CC.

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About Author


Catherine Abbey Hodges’s most recent collection of poems is Raft of Days. Dan Gerber selected her first full-length collection, Instead of Sadness, as winner of the 2015 Barry Spacks Poetry Prize from Gunpowder Press. Her poems have appeared widely and been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily. Co-coordinator of California Poets in the Schools for Tulare County, Catherine collaborates with her husband, cellist Rob Hodges, and was named 2017 faculty of the year at Porterville College, where her students keep her awake and amazed.

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