Carpet Talking to the Mother’s Feet


She carries the baby for months over the carpeted world. Even when the child is
sleeping, the carpet is saying shhh. The carpet is always saying shhh to the mother’s
feet, the soles of which are spreading wider as she walks, to make her body a steadier
plinth for trouble and devotion. Knotted floor made of boiled wool, always asking that
the walks be peace walks, always urging us to sleep. But we are grown now, and can
barely hear you. Maybe you were made by our mothers.



Joan Fleming lives in Golden Bay, where she tutors and gardens and writes. A clutch of her poems was published this year in the DUETS chapbook series, and she is working on a collection of prose poems, all of which are ‘conversations’, of sorts. ‘Carpet Talking to the Mother’s Feet’ is one of these. ‘All my friends seem to be having babies, and having a baby seems to mean walking all day back and forth inside your own house. This poem grew out of wondering what the house might be trying to say to the mothers, and to the babies, who are already growing up.’