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Shadows of Mothers - Lina Buividavičiūtė

The wide tree boughs of mothers, their dense foliage,

a large shadow thrown, hair the color of crows,

small glowing daughters within,

inseparable, almost invisible:

such a perfect mother, a teacher, a beauty –

such a coarse, clumsy, ham-fisted child –

stiff dresses, starched collars,

tightly wound braids to the point of pain:

don’t stoop, don’t smack your lips, don’t talk back –

fatal birds, with prim feathers, orbiting

hordes of men, a joke, smashed plates, time

for sleep, my swan, unpretty one, born black.

Your minutes don’t matter, all is just moments in time,

posing for family photos, then off to the governess.

It makes no difference what you do: mothers do it better, divide

and conquer, yet you feel so much the archetype with a son,

tucking the frail body into the shade of your crown.


Lina Buividavičiūtė was born on May 14, 1986. She is a poet and literary critic. Lina is an author of two poetry books in Lithuanian language. Her poetry is published in "Matter", "Masters", “Proverse poetry prize" contest anthologies, "Drunk monkeys", "Beyond words", "The Dewdrop", "The limit experience", "Beyond queer words", "Maudlin House", "Cathexis northwest press", "Poetry online" magazines and "Versopolis" poetry platform. Upcoming publications will appear in “New millennium writings”, "Cathexis northwest press", "Red noise collective" and “Beyond words” magazines. This poems is translated from Lithuanian to English by Rimas Uzgiris.


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