Maternal Line By Marie Anzalone

Maternal Line

If you were my daughter:
you would know the joy
of walking barefoot on a rainy day
And how mud squelches just so
between your toes
And how the air smells of rebirth
and uncried tears from what life
throws in your direction, every day.
You would know the stars in their constellations better
than the ones on television, and the color
of your dreams would matter more
than the color of your nail polish.

You would know how to enjoy going to the movies
or to the beach or on vacation, alone.
You would enter the playing field
in tennis shoes, not sandals. The integrity of
your “no” would value as much as your “yes,”
and you would know to reject anyone
who thinks otherwise. You would learn
how to forgive, walk away from, and firebomb
your enemies- and which application
suits what situation. Without apology.

If you were my daughter, you would never need
to hide or deny or negate your love,
and its expression; you would never
be ashamed of your desires and passions.
your boyfriend or girlfriend
would be welcome in my home.
And when love forsakes you,
when dreams elude you,
when employers overlook you,
when life abuses you in the street-
you will learn the truth

That the same genes that give compassion
also produce warriors- and they
are hereditary in the maternal line.

By Marie Anzalone


Marie Anzalone is a development worker researching climate change effects in the rural Guatemalan highlands, where she lives with an active volcano in her backyard and a passionate love for all things arts and sciences. She crunches precipitation data and interviews poor farm wives on her good days and humbles herself the rest of the time presenting poetry in Spanish in front of a tough crowd who are quick to remind her of every gender and verb tense error she has ever made. She has been writing poetry for more than 15 years, and would like to offer a few pieces for consideration in your esteemed publication. She is offering the following 5 poems: “41 Fireflies,” “That Morning in August,” “Daily Consumption,” “Maternal Line,” and “The Freedom of a Rainy Day.”

Her creative writing and essays and short stories have been published in the Namaste Human Rights Journal of the University of Connecticut (2010), and several times in The Larcenist, Rising Phoenix Press, and Versewrights. She has published three stand-alone books of poetry, which may be found under her author profile on Goodreads and on Amazon, and has had works included in several creative writing anthologies. The five pieces she is offering have not been previously published through any print format other than her personal blog on Writers Café.

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