Matryoshka Doll

Here’s a poem I wrote last year, about my multilayered identity of recovering good girl, wife, mother, and aspiring artist.

Matryoshka Doll

When they drop by the house
I am in my apron in the kitchen.
In their eyes I see a glimmer of worship
At sighting a domestic angel.
My young son is building superstructures in the living room
And I am baking bread
So I am a stay-at-home mom
(Apparently).

Once, remarking on my unpainted face,
Someone asked for counsel
About wifely submission.

They find me writing at the coffee shop
And praise my husband for giving me time off
From what (apparently) is my real work.

A little girl within
Believes them
Craves their favor.

A woman deeper still
Knows more
Feels lonely feisty misunderstood
Amused
Angry stuck sad useless.

At her heart is a human
Being
Living
Gestating
Faith hope love.

The heart of her heart
Throbs with the secret
And the strength
Of labor
The grip of death
That releases life
And, once more,
She breathes.

5 Comments

    • Thank you birdbeth! Love your blog too. You’ve got sparkle and fun, and I’m glad you are continuing to write.

  1. Feisty- perfect word. Describes me, too. Love your poem and completely relate.

  2. I’m just now giving this the time it deserves, and I love it! I laughed out loud at the second stanza, about the painted face. And I can certainly relate to fearing that your outside appearance gives a false impression of what’s inside. For example, I usually wear skirls because they are more comfortable for me, but I always make sure they’re at least little shorter than my knee because anything longer gives me the willies. And some days I wear jeans just so I won’t be mistaken for someone who believes it’s wrong to wear them. And when we go out as a family, I don’t wear a skirt or dress if my daughter is wearing one. Doesn’t that sound crazy?

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