Christina Wos Donnelly


Did the goddess of the home
carp, "I've been trapped
in this kitchen
all day long?"  Did she yell
in the general direction of
her husband/king, "God
damn it!  Can't somebody peel
this child off my leg?"
Did she rage at his broad,
retiring back, "And what're you doing
that's so infernally important
you can't ever lift a finger
to help around here?"
as he thundered
out the door, flashing
restlessness and relief
all over the planet?

Did the mother of the gods,
patroness of women and children,
set a rocking chair with arms
before the fire
and put her newborn
to her nipple?  (Due diligence does
require support, I think.)  And
as she searched
the flames for a vision
of her husband's hands
the smallness of a maiden
waist, did Ares swallow
his mother's fury with her milk?

And, do you suppose, that,
when a goddess tears an infant
from her breast to arrest
her man in the act, she calls first
for aid: a sister or a servant
friend to save her children
from the fire, stop their tumbling
into the grate?

Maybe godlings don't need
guardians.  The offspring of
a wronged wife with power
left to render the other
a beast may grow strong in solitude. 
Is it mothering or neglect
that breeds immortals,
bitter nourishment that's required
to raise a god of strife?

With Parris Garnier, Christina Wos Donnelly is co-creator and co-editor of Not Just Air. Since her emergence from the poetry closet a few years ago, her poems have appeared in over a dozen print and online publications, including Lilliput Review, Slipstream, Stirring and The 2 River View, as well as five anthologies, among them Off the Cuffs: poetry by and about the police (Soft Skull Press). She was an Artvoice Artist of the Week, a Rogue Scholars Two-Headed Kitty honoree, and has twice guest-edited Stirring.

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