The Mother of the Oxford English Dictionary | Allison Maschhoff

Image: Quino

The Mother of the Oxford English Dictionary

mother, n.

definition a.

The female parent of a human being; [2]

as in the one who feeds you with her chest, the one who housed you next to her most sacred innards, the one your eyes search for as you cry.

a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth; [3]

            the unparalleled truth of motherhood: only one person will ever birth you.

the unbearable truth of motherhood: no world she births you into will as be as safe as the one she made.

(also in extended use) a woman who undertakes the responsibilities of a parent toward a child [4]

every place that has ever felt like a second home to me has had the influence of a woman who houses the strength and presence of a whirlwind framing everything from the door to the walls to my heart.

[2] [3] [4] from the Oxford English Dictionary

Allison Maschhoff is a creative writing MFA student at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Her poetry has been published in The Blue Route, Green Blotter, Windfall, and Better Than Starbucks. She also writes fiction. You can find links to her work at www.allisonmaschhoff.com or follow @allison.maschhoff on Instagram.

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, 
Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.

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