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Eben E. B. Bein

What Mothers 

"our heads turning

toward whatever mothers us"

~Jenny George



How like California to give too much

of a beautiful thing without effort.

An iridescent bedlam of hummingbirds

secure their airways right in this Penstemon patch

two decades and a coast away.


All the times we went looking—

it's too easy, alone, Mom. Nothing earned.

I just sit in the purple of it,

don a dizzy circlet of chirrups.

Where territories meet, I find myself

brandishing my ruby throat

whetting my tiny sword.


Yet I track you, the one with the all-red head

in the most glorious patch,

you, the glory, glory of the patch.

I know it is art because

it rickets and cheers from you,

the whole dart puffed up

and fletched out of our misery,


Mom. I wish you were in the flowers

with me again.


If you come for me, I do not know

what I would do:

flash my bib, give chase, glint away

and back, even now, turning

toward what mothers us,

I cannot turn fast enough.

Our Climate Couch - square - Eben Bein.jpeg



Eben E. B. Bein (they/he) is a biology-teacher-turned-climate-justice-educator at the nonprofit Our Climate and adult administrative assistant to the Massachusetts Youth Climate Coalition. They were a 2022 Fellow for the Writing By Writers workshop and winner of the 2022 Writers Rising Up “Winter Variations” poetry contest. Their first chapbook Character Flaws won Fauxmoir lit’s Spring 2023 competition and explores judgment of the self and others in romantic and sexual relationships. They write often about parent-child estrangement, healing, and love as well as relationships with the natural world, especially in urban settings and on the backdrop of climate catastrophe. They live on Pawtucket land (Cambridge, MA) with their husband and can be found online at or @ebenbein.

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