Fluidities and Agitations

May Swenson has a line somewhere about "unconceived / fluidities and agitations" which put me in mind of Mary di Michele's Mimosa and other poems where slight but significant variations take place under the sign of water which is fitting as the poet plays with her name relating it back to its meaning "of the sea".

"So It Begins" begins identically to a poem that appeared earlier in the book "Full Circle". Indeed it is only when you get to the last lines does the difference come to the fore and then only if you are diligent and flip back to review what you had read earlier. This ends "So It Begins"

for the greater song of the sea to sing in,
whatever the water gives me, I give back,
with my open and singing mouth.
This is what ended "Full Circle"
for the greater song of the sea to sing in,
whatever the water gave me, I gave back,
with an open and singing mouth.
Slight change in tense and possessive adjective.

It is a similar attention to shifting perspective that animates the title poem which is constructed in three sections: father's story told in the third person; monologue by one daughter; monologue by the other daughter. Here are the conclusions that offer shifting variations on a picture of family dynamics.
I. Mimosa
The good life gave him a house and money
in the bank and a retirement plan,
but it didn't give him fruitful daughters,
his favourite makes herself scarce
and the other looks like her mother.

II. Martha's Monologue
Disappointment is the unthinking brush
bloated with chalk dust and the promise of a better life.
I only want my fair share.
I want what's mine and what Lucia kicks over.
I want father to stop mooning about her
and listen to my rendition of Mimosa.

III Lucia's Monologue
I have his face, his eyes, his hands,
his anxious desire to know everything,
to think, to write everything,
his anxious desire to be heard,
and we love each other and say nothing,
we love each other in that country
we couldn't live in.
Martha's "want" and Lucia's "love" come to the reader like small waves. There is no such motion in the third person view of the father. His are not the rhythms of waves but those of a gardener tending a vegetable patch and yielding seasonal offerings of zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, tender peas and Italian parsley. With eye on produce and his concern for fruitfulness, Vito, the father, misses the rhythms of Martha and Lucia, fails to see them moving as persons.

And so for day 318