Revision (31.07.2020)



Brick by brick, I lay the words.

Smoothing sand between each stratum.

I build my house of syllables. 

The architecture of my mother tongue 

Has formed a home around me.


As I expanded, my speech grew too.

And within these walls of chaos,

I sit still and remember when 

We were lying in the sun,

Not thinking of the time to come,

When I would no longer need you

To feed me when my tummy rumbled.


The cord, once severed, now extends between us,

Reuniting us. Your womb —

and mine, like an aeolipile.

And your heart like the sun that gently warms the earth,

As the baby turns between each winter’s sleep.


Our pasts entwined, 

And our souls woven together,

As they once were when I dreamed in your womb.



Original - 01.05.2010

Mother, brick by brick I build my house of

Linguistic syllables that allow me the words

To tell you “I love you”.


Within these walls of disorganization I remember

When we were lying in the sun

Not thinking about the time to come

When you would no longer be able to

Feed me up when my tummy rumbled.


The cord extends between us and has the

Strength of an eternal sun beam that warms the

Whole earth. The ray is embedded so deeply in our

Past that it twines our souls together into one

 As they once existed when I was in your womb.


I wrote this in 2010 in my creative writing poetry class at VCU (Professor Gary Sange). It was written as a spin-off of the Simon Armitage poem, 'Mother, any distance greater than a single span'.


Mother, any distance greater than a single span by Simon Armitage


Mother, any distance greater than a single span

requires a second pair of hands.

You come to help me measure windows, pelmets, doors,

the acres of the walls, the prairies of the floors.


You at the zero-end, me with the spool of tape, recording

length, reporting metres, centimetres back to base, then leaving

up the stairs, the line still feeding out, unreeling

years between us. Anchor. Kite.


I space-walk through the empty bedrooms, climb

the ladder to the loft, to breaking point, where something

has to give;

two floors below your fingertips still pinch

the last one-hundredth of an inch...I reach

towards a hatch that opens on an endless sky

to fall or fly.