The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Poetry by Ellen C. Goldberg

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Heaven

Halloween was my mother’s favorite holiday.
My youngest brother was quite a pro
gathering candy and money at a time when
it was safe to go into strange buildings.
Starting with the building nearest,
he would fan out in all directions,
returning to empty his pockets of jingly change,
shopping bags of candy
that carried my mother to heaven.

My mother rarely left the house,
sent us out each night in search of sweets.
Sitting there in her easy chair watching TV
she would wait for our return with a paper bag
filled with two-for-one penny candies,
marshmallow twists, chocolate kisses, caramels.
She would smile in child-like delight,
gleefully she’d devour non-alcoholic tranquilizers
she never shared.

 

Come Closer

I

want to go down to the sea tonight
feel the slippery sand shift beneath my feet
The crescent moonlight barely leads me
to the voice I hear.
Pounding waves call come closer.
I walk slowly.
Wet sand hugs my feet.
Ghostly gray gossamer clouds
drift across the crescent moon.
I lie down in the cold black sea,
hear you call me.
I sink into the dark salty embrace.
I will soon be warm.
I will soon be with you.
The crescent moon comes closer,
looks the other way.

          — Ellen C. Goldberg


Ellen C. Goldberg began writing poetry 10 years ago and studied with Colette Inez, David Ignatow, Mark Rudman and Meena Alexander. She is co-founder of the Hudson Pier Poets. Previous credits include a Latin-news jazz column, & feature-essays for community newspapers.  She was a semi-finalist in the Maryland Poetry Review’s Egan Poetry contest and her work appears in Poetic Page, Salonica, Medicinal Purposes, Skid Row Penthouse and Cotyledon.

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