The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Isolation – A Poetry Folio

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Curated by Jennifer Martelli and Cindy Veach

 

Isolation

 

Welcome to the Mom Egg Review June VOX “Isolation” folio.

It doesn’t take a pandemic to create isolation. Grief and depression can cause it, as can bullying and separation. Motherhood can also result in aloneness despite being in the company of others. And at times we seek out solitude through seclusion and privacy. The poems in this folio explore the many faces of isolation.

Grief and longing for life before the pandemic is made palpable through inanimate objects that can have no memory of “the before” in Marjorie Maddox’s poem, “During Stay-at-Home Orders, Our Son Cuts My Husband’s Hair,”

Gray locks float happily down,
settle on a patio that has no memory
of before and why.

In Sunita Theiss’ poem, “Sleep Regression,” a crying, inconsolable child triggers questions about the disappointments he will inevitably experience and highlights how this knowledge can be painfully isolating for a parent:

When do we tell him about eternity?
That the truth isn’t his to discover,

we are powerless to decide, and
his God will disappoint him, too.

Sarah Dickinson Snyder’s poem, “Skinhunger,” remembers touch at a time when all the speaker can do to comfort herself is put a hand up against a window: “Don’t feel lost right now, / I tell myself. /Remember the skinhunger of your life” while “Penelope” by Twila Newey finds loneliness in busyness:

luemen: : : to be weary in busyness,
this business of doing & undoing.
Her time a whirring apparatus—strands
tightened together, strands falling apart

“Who Are We In Heaven” by K. T. Landon asks: “Who are you, / mother, if not disappointed by me?” and conjures the isolation that even those who love each other can impart.

“Orphan Sky” by Eileen Cleary provides instructions to keep the truth from an orphan until he can “…name/that vacancy as he resets the bones / and closes the wounds of grief’s anatomy.”

The poems in this folio seek to name “that vacancy”, to speak to the varied faces of isolation, to our need for social and physical contact, for a way to live with unanswerable questions and a future we can’t foretell.

It is our pleasure and honor to present the work of these poets.

We hope you enjoy this folio. Thank you for the time you spend with it,

Jennifer Martelli and Cindy Veach

 

Isolation

Eileen Cleary
Karen George
Jen Karetnick
Tina Kelley
Ellen Kombiyil
K.T. Landon
Marjorie Maddox
Twila Newey
Sarah Sarai
Sarah Dickenson Snyder
Sunita Theiss
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