Monday, April 23, 2012

Blood or Milk?

Friday and Saturday I performed with the modern dance group I dance with. Everything went really well and it was so much fun to be on stage with my little boy. He did great. One of the pieces that the adult company performed (we are all mothers) was  entitled "Milk" . It was  a beautiful statement about motherhood-- the generational learning, the ups, the downs, the sacrifices, the chaos, the joy,  and the choices that have to be made. It may just be one of my all time favorite dances I've ever danced in. It really spoke to my heart, in so many ways.

I asked the choreographer if, when we get the video back, I can share it here and she said yes. So hopefully sometime in the next few weeks I will figure out how to post the video. Yet in the meantime I just wanted to share the poem that inspired the piece, and to which one of our dancers danced a solo to at the end (and just in case you are wondering, you CAN dance to a poem :). It is called "Blood and Milk" and is by Sharlee Mullins Glenn and was published in the Fall 2005 issue of Segullah.


Blood and Milk

by Sharlee Mullins Glenn

I dreamed of Oxford . . .
(spires, a thousand spires, endless lectures, musty halls
a solitary self in a Bodleian expanse
A good life my dear Wormwood. An orderly life.)

then awakened to laundry
and things to be wiped
countertops, noses, bottoms)

How did this happen? And when, exactly?

Time flows, it flows, it flows
and there are choices to be made:

left or right?
paper or plastic?
blood or milk?

There's freedom in the bleeding;
bondage in the milk—do not be deceived.

Ah, but it's an empty freedom; a holy bondage,
A sweet and holy bondage.

Five times I chose the chains, those tender chains,
(though once will bind you just as well!)
and checked the crimson flow.
Suckled while dreaming of Trinity Term
but awakened, always awakened, to the laundry
and to that small and cherished captor at my breast.


Isn't that beautiful? I've heard it at least five dozen times in the last few months and every time I hear it it gives me something new to think about.


  1. What a beautiful poem! Thankyou for sharing!

  2. And I would love to see that video!

  3. What a beautiful poem. So what we as Moms feel at times. Thouhgh. the pull of the work/ academic world will always be there; our hearts can and will be whee our families

  4. Ahh yes, the small cherished captor.
    Beautiful poem and I look forward to seeing the dance!

  5. They also put this poem in their book titled The Mother in Me which I have loved. It is full of wonderful essays and poems on motherhood. I found it on clearance at Deseret Book for $4, a steal!