Mother of Icarus

The mother of Icarus was
effaced from the father-
son narrative, as though she
didn’t matter. Who
was she, who birthed that silly,
defiant boy? Who

became that scrawny
flipped bird (f-word
embodiment)? Motherless
fetus plunging into the amniotic
formaldehyde sea, now a green rose,
blooming from the splashing
dapple of the sun’s coin-sized
reflection. Did the mother

of Icarus sweep up her hair in intricate
braids round her worried head each
morning before she stoked the fire
for their breakfast? Did she shatter

the earthenware pots in her over-
eagerness to serve her husband and son?
Did she bunch up her skirts around
her thick waist and wide hips
to wade in the Aegean Sea, soaking her
tired flat feet? Did she

sprout wings in the secret
dark of her own mazy mind? Did she
ossify into a crumbling
caryatid, pillar of salt? Did she

become the ball of thread
in Ariadne’s hands—unraveling its
long-winded way toward liberation? Did she

smile when green roses bloomed
for Icarus?

Reprinted from Icarus Superstar (Alien Buddha Press, 2023)

Hiromi Yoshida is the author of four poetry chapbooks. Her poems have been included in the INverse Poetry Archive, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, the Wilder Poetry Book Prize, the New Women’s Voices Poetry Prize, and the Gerald Cable Book Award. While teaching poetry for the Indiana Writers Center, she coordinates the Last Sunday Poetry & Open Mic program for the Writers Guild at Bloomington, and serves on the board of directors as a literary arts representative for the Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington. 

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