Madonna and Child (an unfinished touch)

In the circle of their arms
time disappears
mother and child dance
to music only they can hear
with eyes locked
on each other’s faces
absorbing  all*
with  that embrace
building bridges against years’
hollowing chasms, flowing tears.

Oh blessed moment
when even teardrops are sweet
and every smile,
a blissful gift
all these treasures kept in the heart
keeping souls fed
once they’re apart.

Dewy eyes, gazing at each other
opening to love without measure
“He is never heavy on my shoulder.”
“Her heart is strong, my own shelter.”


This is a response to the above picture prompt from DVERSE POETS’ Poetics:  Dominant Impression in Artistic Description.   Do visit the link for great responses to the prompts. 🙂

*Thanks to Tony of Rumours of Rhyme for the suggested revision.  The original line read – “taking it all in / in that embrace”.

20 thoughts on “MOTHER AND CHILD

  1. smiles…i find your words hope filled…and there is a special bond between mother and child that is found no where else…but i do understand the peace i find int he second stanza….smiles.

  2. …Imelda this is absolutely touching & comforting to read… i can feel the love, care & grattitude between their eyes & your words… you don’t just write a poem about a painting… you write a poem with your heart… you paint words of colours with your heart and that clearly shows here… i love the tranquility & soft quality of your tone here… unpretentious but rather engaging enough to raise a strong voice… an affirmation of an unconditional love… thank you for giving justice to my art… i really appreciate it… smiles…

  3. all these treasures kept in the heart
    keeping souls fed
    once they’re apart…
    smiles…with my daughter being over in australia at the moment, i know exactly what you mean…a tender piece

  4. This is really beautiful Imelda. Might I suggest one alteration, which I believe will make an already fine poem even stronger?

    These lines

    “they take all in
    in that embrace”

    seem a little clumsy. The trouble is with the repeated ‘in.’ Perhaps altering the first line would help. I suggest:

    “they encompass all
    in that embrace.”

    You lose the rhyme of the ‘a’ sound, but you gain assonance with ‘s’ to replace it.

    Just a suggestion 🙂

    1. Thanks, Tony. I see what you mean. By ‘take it all in” I meant they kind of absorbed, soaked in, as much as they can from that embrace: joy, love, smiles – all the emotions that accompany a mother-child moment, so much so that the time itself becomes part of the fiber of their being. Is there a nicer way to convey that idea? 🙂 Thanks for your help. 🙂

    2. Thanks, Tony.
      This may be the closes to my idea – give me some time to come up with something that approximates my original thought. Apparently, I have reached some language limitation. I roped in my husband, a native speaker, as consultant. He agrees with you about the awkwardness of the phrase that you pointed out.

      Hundreds of thousands of English words, and not one right fit. 🙂

  5. This may be my very favorite of all your poems, Imelda. I’m so glad I’m reading this, even though so much later than when you first posted it. LOVE. It grips my heartstrings.

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