Hail Mother

by Angela Hoffman

I was raised in open fields, pastures
among the wild, untamed nature of things. 

Hail the oaks full of grace, standing sturdy while I climbed the sky
holding, urging me to go high. 
Blessed I was among the mysteries found in the tall grasses
where there was the slow, patient ripening
of the fruit of the elder berries
and the womb of the milkweed pods emptying, 
bearing seeds on floating wings. 
Where leaves turned bright, letting go, never fearing the fall.
Where squirrels chased in delight, burying their future
in the grave of the grass on which my bare feet walked.
Holy the ponds frozen over then thawed
where the red-winged blackbirds protected their young
praying for me each time I crossed boundaries.
Where the wind was gentle, giving a push when needed
now, and at the hour of moonlight. Amen. 

Angela Hoffman’s poetry collections include Resurrection Lily (Kelsay Books, 2022) and Olly Olly Oxen Free (forthcoming, Kelsay Books, May 2023). She placed third in the WFOP Kay Saunders Memorial Emerging Poet in 2022. Her poems have been published internationally. She has written a poem a day since the start of the pandemic. Angela lives in rural Wisconsin.  

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