Maternal Landscape with Flight and Chase

After Margaret Wise Brown

Sun in the valley, then

a rushing gray cumulonimbus—

I am not sure which

mother I am.

One mother says to her little bird,

I will become a tree

for you to come home to.

One mother says,

I will become the wind,

and blow you where I want you to go.

This wind mother—terrible!

She sends down the leaves.

They travel great, furious distances,

are impossible to catch.

One mother


One mother finds. One mother

says, I will walk across the air to you.

One mother is air. One mother

is absence; one mother, fog.          

One mother is a hawk

waiting by the edge of a pond

in the tall grasses—

her talons could ball up morsels of bread—

she watches the ducks,

their green soft heads.

Black-and-white portrait of Lizzy, resting her face in her hands. She's wearing a couple of string bracelets and a watch. It's five-o-clock. She is looking almost right at the camera, but not quite.

Lizzy Beck, a teacher and poet, lives with her family in Western Massachusetts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, The Cincinnati Review, LEON Literary Review and On the Seawall. She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.