I have deep respect for stepmothers. I am not a stepmother and didn't have a stepmother. But I know stepmothers, and it can be tough! Which is why, some years ago, I wrote this poem about Anne Moynet, who was John James Audubon's stepmother.
Anne Moynet Audubon, Long before
Birds of America
This boy would dart off before dawn,
climb trees, examine eggs, take out
his little pencil and draw the birds in flight.
When I’d meet him at the arbor with tea
and cookies, he’d share the bounty
of pockets: egg shells, nests of curling
leaves, feathers of every color. So what
if his cheeks stayed smudged and he rarely
made it in time for supper? For those
of you who’ll say, he was not yours,
I ask you: Does the earth not belong
to the sky? Does the shore not love
the ocean, even as it crashes upon it?
Does the bluebird not sit on the nest,
even if the egg is speckled instead of pale?
- Irene Latham