If June Cleaver left Ward and—out of spite—kidnapped Wally and the Beaver, then proceeded to slowly starve them on a shared diet of 7/11 slushies and riccochet biscuits, she might be on the verge of Mother Love.
The antithesis of matriarchal idealization, Gwendolyn-Joyce Mintz’s Mother Love portrays seriously flawed women banging their heads against brick walls of motherhood, and coming away from the experience seriously damaged or even dead.
Ms. Mintz’s style is to start somewhere toward the climax of the story and let you fill in the what, where and why of it based upon her spare, razor-sharp prose.
A stellar example of this technique’s poignancy is the story “My Little Boy.” Before the detail of the mother’s son “resting on a satin lining” is revealed, you may have thought you were witnessing a mother simply admiring her sleeping son. The impact of this telling detail is like an ice pick to the forehead. In contrast, the poem “Letter Home” captures something universal in the remembrance of a mother’s love past.
Do you ever dance for me against the shadows of the moon?
Count my days in rites that pass with a season,
or in the inches of a sapling’s growth?
Oh, woman. Mother—
Mother, do you miss me?
Mother Love is available as a PDF download or as a limited edition chapbook at http://www.unlikelystories.org/mintz0607.shtml.