Back to my Mother’s Womb

mother's womb2

If a demon
donned in silver frock
offered me the chance to start again,
promising that I may retain
a select portion
of the wisdom of sixty-four years,
would I?

Would I return
to the workish warmth
of my mother’s hearth? Hear
her sing again, revel in recitations
of Wordsworth, Rosetti, giggle at the rhymes
of Edward Lear, Spike Milligan,
enjoy stories and small talk
as we cook and clean.
Sit on her knee while static
crackles and a voice fit for kittens
simpers through Listen With Mother.

Playing in the rabbit’s pen,
feeding scraps to the hens, waiting
for my brothers to come home, my small heart
filled with the only love I know, my flesh
as yet untouched by the unholy.

Would I try again?
If I could evade the mistakes,
the fast and false breaks,
the arms of pale ogres and odius fakes.
The ache of living for living’s sake.

If I could relive
my pre-school days,
correct my dwindling years –
would I do it all again? Build a castle
of amethyst bricks, fill it with laughter,
let the children bounce and leap
on furnishings picked
with impeccable taste,
live the high life
’til I die.

Would I –
if I could evade all the pain –
would I choose to be born again?
I’m tired and I want to go home,
back to my mother’s womb, yet
would I give it a second go?

Hell, no.


©Jane Paterson Basil

8 thoughts on “Back to my Mother’s Womb

  1. Maybe I’m only speaking of myself here, but I think one needs to be at least in one’s mid 50s or so before one begins to feel as you have expressed it in this poem. Emotionally embracing the value of an older age is, well, a taste one acquires with age.

    Beyond that, I found in the poem that wonderful combination of insightful wisdom, vivid detail, and graceful beauty that I have come to associate with such things a Basil poem, the lacy spider-silk knickers of angels, and, yes, even sometimes the pretty, sparkling dewdrops that form in the morning on the naked bodies of lovers who screwed themselves into slumbers in the grass of their backyard the night before.

    Bravo, Jane!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. In the UK we call such folks Spying Sunstones after a notorious man who resides in Colorado. Well, rip off my pants and spank me for being so dumb! I do believe you come from that neck of the woods.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wait! Don’t take your pants off until I’m properly outside and looking in your window. Call it “habit” if you must, but I prefer the view from the window to the view from the living room.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s