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Lisa Briana Williams – The Steamroller Tries to Remain Light

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Lisa Briana Williams


The Steamroller Tries to Remain Light


It is too easy to say everything we were told about motherhood
is a lie. More true to say I absorbed nothing but goodness
until it came for me—that “goodness”—to wrangle with & prove
what else good may be. Each person inhabiting may be
is different—yet I try & try to find formulas: this honey for that
bitter room: that sofa to rest on a tongue. I have images of myself
as a child sitting quietly in a yard, abandoned & calm. But one
child in a yard is never another—all unhappinesses vary, as do all
childhoods, yards. Then why the persistent myth of sameness?
Mothers do blank. Mothers feel blank. Here’s what you need to fill
blankness. Here’s how not to sink into a growing field of meaning
less, so that you splinter and grieve. As if there were recipes to make
childhood without the muscles of an actual life. . . By the time
I have gathered the ingredients to resolve conflict we have already
gone past it—a new paradigm must be razed. Perhaps the best
I can do is be an animal emptied of my animalness and my
human filled with a humanity. Allow my magnitude to recede &
forever recognize more than I am ascertained. Not so much look for,
in her eyes, but see without weight. Though behind me there are these

tons of crushing feeling—

Lisa Briana Williams is the author of Gazelle in the House (New Issues, 2014) as well as two other books of poems. She lives and teaches in Kentucky.


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