The Hammock

When I lay my head in my mother's lap
I think how day hides the stars,
the way I lay hidden once, waiting
inside my mother's singing to herself. And I remember

I love the image in the beginning of the person being hidden, waiting inside the mother who is singing to herself. Both the mother and the son are content in each other's company but also seem to have worries about what is going on inside the other's head. -Laura Crouch, age 20

how she carried me on her back
between home and the kindergarten,
once each morning and once each afternoon.
I don't know what my mother's thinking.
When my son lays his head in my lap, I wonder:
Do his father's kisses keep his father's worries
from becoming his? I think, Dear God, and remember
there are stars we haven't heard from yet:

The use of stars is really interesting; I interpreted them to mean change and burdens that come throughout life. The child thinks how in the day time the stars, or worries, are covered up, and remembers a time when he was in his mother's womb and was completely hidden from them. -Laura

They have so far to arrive. Amen,
I think, and I feel almost comforted.
I've no idea what my child is thinking.

The breaking up of the poem into stanzas separated by the one line helps with the transition and reinforces the idea that the author is struggling to find his place in the world. -Rachel McGuinness, age 20

Between two unknowns, I live my life.
Between my mother's hopes, older than I am
by coming before me, and my child's wishes, older than I am
by outliving me. And what's it like?
Is it a door, and good-bye on either side?
A window, and eternity on either side?
Yes, and a little singing between two great rests.

These three ending lines tie up the poem nicely, the reader is aware that there are two choices that can be made a solid door representing good bye or a clear window leading to eternity. -Rachel
This is an excellent poem. It conveys the fusion of past and present, of childhood and adulthood, perfectly. Our memories bring us comfort and the future brings us feelings of hope and anxiety for the unknown events it holds. Here, in this poem, is a poet coming to terms with the restlessness of mortality, and embracing life. -Kyle Austin, age 23
The hopefulness that the poet creates through the tension in this poem comes on so clear in the end. Doubt fills every line, but through wonder the poet is able to overcome it. It speaks to the power poetry has to shed light on even the biggest questions in life. -Rian Bosse, age 22
Through the 3rd Eye was supported in its inception by the Grand Rapids Humanities Council and is currently made possible by continued volunteer effort and private support. Copyright 2013.