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Maia: The Good Mother


Maisaurus from the Greek & “μαία” and the feminine form of Latin saurus, meaning “good mother reptile” or “good mother lizard”. Wikipedia


This nursery, dirt valley, hollow as an empty eggshell.

Fresh ferns fill my nest brighten the scent of rotting conifer

while golden fans of ginkgo leaves promise good fortune.


We’ll need a bit of luck, my clutch of 30 and I.

I leave them, warm under a bed of soft green-

each day becoming ever softer, warmer.


I leave the eggs, my hopes shelled and still unbroken

search for sustenance. Soon I find fine herbs, great

greens to bring to them. All around me, the other


mothers do the same. Together, we are powerful.

Together, we can fend off fighters, protect our

young from prey. Soon they will crack, will claw,


will crawl from their oval worlds into mine. I will

chew their food, drop it into their gaping maws,

guard against all who may harm them.


Rough beasts slouch and crawl all around us

while we nurse these hatchlings to health, to

standing. The elders will protect us, and we


in turn, these tiny, tender ones. So, we will go

a slow-moving herd, a storm of mothers

thundering our fear and love in roars


that shake the ground,

shake good fortune from the trees

a rain of gold fans flying like confetti

as we move onward till next season.

A recent Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Marceline White's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Press 53, Feral: A Journal of Poetry & Art, Harpy Hybrid, Scrawl Place, The Orchard Review, The Indianapolis Review, Atticus Review, Snapdragon, Little Patuxent Review, Please See Me, Quaranzine, Gingerbread House, The Free State Review, and The Loch Raven Review and others; anthologies include Ancient Party: Collaborations in Baltimore, 2000-2010, and Life in Me Like Grass on Fire. An award-winning economic rights advocate, Marceline is the author of chapters in two books on gender and globalization, numerous research reports, and op-eds. When not writing or engaged in activism, she can be found learning how to better serve her two cats, posting too many pictures of her garden on social media, and reminding her son to text her when he arrives at the party.

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