The Slant of Motherhood


Holly Grantham -Slant of Motherhood4

As I loosely stare out the window
water begins to bead up, heavy and ripe, upon the glass
One droplet slides down the pane
then another
My eyes trace their path
each sphere of water now
forming a queue on the window sill below
Collecting, dispersing, collecting

We need this rain
but I don’t want it
All day I’ve been like a petulant child
I keep returning to the window
looking past the line of trees
searching for the slant of sun I wanted
then sinking deeper into my skin
when I remember

This is not unlike my mothering
as of late
I am wont to daydream
I have been distracted, bored, wistful, broody
I am here
and I am

I feel stretched thin by the daily
then guilty for wanting different
for not relishing in my beautiful life
Some days, I recognize this
I rally
I stir up hope and presence of mind and
I smile wide
at the unfolding
But some days, I just want my mom’s honeyed voice to spill into
my ears
all thick and sweet
I want to ask her how to both be and
how to become

I sit on the living room floor with my legs crossed
My youngest son pushes his Matchbox car in circles
around me
his lips buzzing
his brow wrinkled in thick concentration
My older boys stretch out on couches and
overstuffed chairs
all arms and legs and musk
I close my eyes

Despite the ambient sound of boys
I notice that it has stopped raining
A cardinal has started trilling
And even though the gutter is still dripping
in that same spot over the back porch
the clouds are empty
I open my eyes
and splayed wildly across my open palms
is a shaft of sunlight
It catches the edge of my wedding ring and splinters

This is how it will always go
isn’t it?
The days will unfold like they do
I will get stuck in places thick and cloudy and
then ruminate and hem and haw and stare out windows
I will pine for things both good and noble but
not all of them will be for me
And perhaps most poignant
Magic will be shrouded in the mundane and I won’t always see it
But I’ll be damned if
when I do
It doesn’t drip from my fingertips and
light up the room like a thousand stars

Holly Grantham
Holly is a wife, very relaxed homeschooling mom of three boys, snapper of photos, coming of age writer and a soul drowning in grace. After years in Atlanta where she attended college, married the love of her life and lived in an intentional community, she found her way back to her home state of Missouri. She now lives in an antebellum stone house, raises chickens (sometimes) and pretends that she lives in the country.
Holly Grantham

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  1. Andrea Christiansen says:

    The transition in this is so vivid, I am truly touched! I feel like I have been in that place many a time before, only you reveal it as the little miracle it is. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Gorgeous and real – thank you for articulating it so beautifully.
    ‘I feel stretched thin by the daily
    then guilty for wanting different
    for not relishing in my beautiful life’

  3. Beautiful

  4. Shaley Hoogendoorn says:

    I could read this 100 times. I probably will. It touched me deeply tonight. Thank you! xo
    PS Happy Mothers Day Eve❤️

  5. Sue Hay says:

    Magic will be shrouded in the mundane. What a glorious phrase. Inspiration for Mother’s Day today in New Zealand.

  6. Your poetry is incredible, Holly. Thank you for this. And, right here:
    “I will pine for things both good and noble but
    not all of them will be for me
    And perhaps most poignant
    Magic will be shrouded in the mundane and I won’t always see it”
    This is me right now. Learning to rest in and soak up that magic….

    • Holly says:

      Thank you, Annie. Those might have been the hardest lines to write, honestly. I don’t want to seem ungrateful but I also know that, in order to grow into the woman I truly want to be, I have to lean in to the shadows. Thank you for your kind words here.

  7. pastordt says:

    Amen, amen. Thank you.

  8. Gorgeous. Thank you.

  9. Robin Baldwin says:

    Holly, this is such a beautiful, poignant poem! You so well described the push-pull of emotions that accompany motherhood.

    • Holly says:

      It is such a push-pull, isn’t it, Robin? Thank you for holding space with me here today.

  10. Kellie Cornelison says:

    This I should gorgeous, Holly. It delicately and precisely speaks where I’m at right now. Thank you for vocalizing what’s in my heart!

    • Holly says:

      I was a bit nervous to be so honest about the less picturesque side of my mother heart but I did so with the hope that I wasn’t the only one inhabiting that space. Thank you for hearing me.

  11. Tammie Raymora Thomas says:

    Beautiful! Today, as I approach Mother’s Day tomorrow I will focus on this poem. It touches my heart. Mother’s Day is a used bag of emotions. This year the focus is healing and graitude of acceptance of what is and was. And of immense amount of gratitude if being able to mother 7 kids.

    • Holly says:

      Wow, Tammie! Seven children! What an incredible gift. I hope that this weekend is full of love and acceptance of all that was, is and is to come. Peace be yours.

  12. As usual, I find myself going back to re-read, discovering something lovely each time.
    Can’t wait to find the magic “shouded in the mundane” on this busy Saturday.

    • Holly says:

      Thank you, Michele. Your encouragement never fails to buoy me and make me feel seen and heard. Thinking of you this weekend and all of the feelings that you must be navigating.

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