The Mothers

The Mothers

Of whom we know nothing.1
Of whom we do not even know the birthplace.2
Of whom we know almost nothing. 56 years, one town.3
Of whom we know almost nothing. Outlived her husband.4
Of whom we know very little. Outlived her daughter.5
Of whom we know very little. Witnessed two centuries from one town.6
Of whom we know even less. Daughter of Peder. Strong Dane Kvinde.7
All we know of her: shaved headed mohawk woman. Lost her baby on the boat to America.8
A midwife against the dangers of long dresses. Tripping hazard. Harder to run.9
A way her obituary betrayed her: a name like Birdie, yet they called her Mrs. John.10
Hair like her beehive state. Honey-stunning. The first time I've ever loved my nose.11
Called abuser, called angel. Called, most importantly quiltmaker. Steady hands regardless.12
A teacher, seeking pianohands in every crowd. Refused to hit her children. Cyclestopper.13
She wants only for you to know she loves me.14
1. Inger (1610-1664)
2. Maren (1634-1700)
3. Ane (1674-1720)
4. Anna (1710-1788)
5. Marie (1740-1831)
6. Johanne (1770-1830)
7. Marie (1793-1866)
8. Karen Johanne (1831-1853)
9. Ane Cecilie (1858-1955)
10. Carrie Birdie (1884-1958)
11. Laura (1908-1992)
12. Emma VerNae (1931-2021)
13. Susan (1952-)
14. Jenny (1975-)

Taylor Franson-Thiel

Taylor Franson-Thiel is a Pushcart nominated poet from Utah, now based in Fairfax, Virginia. She received her Master’s in creative writing from Utah State University and is pursuing an MFA at George Mason University. Along with writing, she enjoys lifting heavy weights and reading fantastic books. 

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