My mother was a verified miracle.

My mother was church door where millions entered.
My mother was tower where four kestrels roosted –
my mother was hooded, she plunged and she hovered.
She flew at the speed of the wind, oh
my mother had wings and her voice was an organ,
she was seraph and cherub and throne and dominion.
My mother was bright with flame.

My mother was saint and my mother was martyr
and she was the light floating over the water.
My mother was whale and I rode safe inside her –
I was blessed and I came out clean
for my mother was sermon and she was the mountain
and she was the tree and the nails and the Roman
and her rafters were oak and her stone was all golden.

My mother said Let there be light
and she was the light. My mother was fruit
and we peopled the earth in her name
for my mother was sun and my mother was thunder.
My mother would get at the truth if it killed her –
she laid waste to the nations for me did my mother
and I could not run from her love

for my mother was choir, she was every bird singing
and she was the song and will not be forgotten.
My mother was angel, my mother was fallen.
She suffered the children and fed them on nothing.
My mother was bread
and my mother was broken
and she was the ark. She was darkness. The ocean.

Clare Shaw is our poet in residence for the congress. She will be posting a poem each month, and will join us live during the congress. To find out more about Clare and read more of her poetry, go to our congress pages: Congress 2018


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