Mother & Crone


You are the winter I relearn

when a hard frost strips the herbs

to blackmats overnight


pass over our house,

I’m behind the glass


saying don’t take my daughter

when it all goes white.


No wonder, old mother

that every ache of the marrow

echoes to premonition,

cold scissors in the wind


snipping people from their bodies,

lost kites in flight. No wonder


we weight our hands with books

and coffees and groceries


when we can’t be sure about gravity,

skies magnetized, tugging, no wonder


we’ve made such a tangle down here

clawing for grip.


This is why I tie her to my body, why

she twines both hands in my hair

when she’s sleepy, when she feels

herself starting

to drift.




in the night i wove my hair

tangles saltthick with pricks of pain

tattooing the blanket over my brain

runes, am i rune-ing?

am i glyphing this down?

tamping and tying the spell

as roots tie the ground

do i summon do i ward

chanting i have to stay here when

in my poems the nouns are pluraling

we and us and thou

winters snows and nights

mothers we whisper, calling up

our salts

welling our waters

never knew how many waters

were laking around in us

wombs and uterus


we can no longer speak

names we love

what begins in prayers

spirals in frostfractals in pleading

with we suspect

our own madnesses

dreads we could see

in the patterning snows

just once

we want to stop

connecting dots


Brianna Flavin is a poet from Saint Paul, MN. She is a Loft Mentor Series Fellow in Poetry as well as a volunteer writing mentor in the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. Her work has appeared in Waxing Literarythe Nashville ReviewThe Cresset and others.