Although I took several poetry classes in college and graduate school, it was trying to write my own poetry about the subject that has transformed my life more than any other experience - parenting - that most makes me appreciate Lauren's work in this book. Trying to find the right words to illuminate the beauty, pain, transformation, miracle, and power of the parenting journey is a daunting and humbling task, and I am so impressed with Lauren's very apparent soul searching, raw honesty, and sheer talent.
Lauren's poems cover the full gamut of the early parenting journey from
miscarriage (Why were we led all that way, and never to see your face?)
conception (Charting, temping, noting fluids and marking good days on each month's calendar.)
pregnancy (Kicking me under my heart for all those months. Just under my heart.)
the first taste of mother's intuition (People told me when you were due, as if you were a term paper and to turn in late would earn a failing grade. We ignored them, didn't we?)
birth (Light sped into your eyes, and electricity arced in connection between us, as I defied gravity and orbited you.)
the mourning of the life you left behind (I have wanted people to know there is more than joy in being a mother, that there is frustration and regret, strain on a marriage, lack of sleep, lack of time, lack of peace.)
Lauren also writes about postpartum depression, breastfeeding, pumping, babywearing, her love for her husband, and the magic of the smallest moments of parenting that seem to make the most lasting impressions upon us.
Some of Lauren's words will haunt you as you recognize the thoughts you may have been afraid to speak out loud, and some will remind you of the incredible universality of the mothering experience. No matter which end of the spectrum her poems touch, and regardless of what you have experienced yourself, I have no doubt that Poetry of a Hobo Mama: The First Three Years will provide you with a real and refreshing take on motherhood. I look forward to revisiting these poems and to seeing how Lauren captures the continuation of her parenting journey.