Mother’s Day is coming. I’ve heard it called Mothering Day and I like that better. We each experience mothering differently. Some of us don’t have children, yet we mother. Some raise children born to other mothers. Some of us are motherless children either literally or figuratively.

Whatever Mothering Day brings for us individually, there is no doubt that collectively mothering takes heart. Lots of it. This got me thinking about women and our hearts. My mind returned to a gathering I recently attended where a dozen or so women sat around a table reading stories from their lives, written in their own hand, real and true about:

being Mormon, mom and recovering alcoholic

first-time thirty-year-old mothering

little boys with hands in their pants

spilled popcorn written in rhyme

being daughter of a battered woman

a baby never born

“mean” mothers and mean mothers

a Mormon mother’s tattoo in memory of her dead child

I met these women only once. In two hours – maybe five or ten minutes per person – we shared our experiences with each other. Before the first words were read I felt my heart opening, expanding to welcome the souls in that room. As I listened and watched, I thought, “These are only a few of hundreds or thousands in this valley. . . any woman could sit at this table, any group of women could meet together and tell the truth about their lives and the result would be the same.”

No matter our religion, our life experience or our worldview, we are sisters in our hearts. Collectively we mother everyone.

There is a word generally used in a religious context: Brethren. It refers to a single body of multiple men. There is no such word for a feminine counter-part. There is no Sistren. Perhaps we are Cistern.


A Woman’s Heart

grows far


its beginning


stretches over

miles and days of



a droplet

pulsing waves in

mother’s womb

swells to harbor

the whole

wide world


Melody Newey © 2013

Melody earns a living as a registered nurse, grows a respectable garden, and writes when she's not building sheet forts with her grandkids. Her poetry has appeared in on-line journals, Segullah, Irreantum and small press along the Wasatch Front.

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