Feeding Hour

by Jessica Gigot

The Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield said “everything has a beginning and an end. Make peace with this and all will be well.” In Jessica Gigot’s Feeding Hour we encounter this basic truth again and again. What can one animal teach another about the harsh hours of labor, mothering, and letting go? How much are we part of a universal family of beings? As Gigot states, our lives are “…separate / and also glaringly interwoven.” As a farmer engaged with the life cycle of her sheep on a daily basis and her own experiences of motherhood, Gigot turns a keen eye on the vacillations of birth, growth, and departures evident in the instinctual nature of all animals. These poems reveal that “life spawns more life/ and what we care for comes/back to us in hard and mysterious ways.”

Purchase: Wandering Aengus Press/Trail to Table Press

Praise for Feeding Hour:

It might perhaps come as a surprise that a book immersed in the experience of motherhood—carrying, birthing, and raising a child—would also be so replete with hunger. But motherhood is all about the mutual desire of bodies and their ability to sate our endless thirst: the mother’s body, the child’s, and, in Jessica Gigot’s new collection, the earth’s, as well. From new lambs to tulip bulbs, from pelicans to pink moons, these poems are a meditation on the world’s generous offerings. These tender poems, like bare-rooted, spare-spined saplings waiting to be planted, possess the delicate heft of haiku and a heavier weight, too—that of all the promising leaves those trees will someday bear. As Gigot says, “what we care for comes / back to us in hard / and mysterious ways.”

Keetje Kuipers, author of All Its Charms and The Keys to the Jail

Jessica Gigot tells us “the earth laughs in grass,” as she composes a poetry of hard-earned joy sewn in the fertile soil of motherhood and farming. A shepherdess, Gigot speaks with authority about the sacrifices of care, the shared happiness and grief that braid like an old rope around the life she has chosen. There is magic in this collection as the poet “dreams herself into the bodies of these sheep” and tells us about the changing landscape, strands of past and present, the possible futures that her own pregnancies remind her still await. She proclaims, “I sing to / The one I am welcoming to this strange world,” and her poems are an openhearted host for lucky readers like us.”

Todd Davis, author of Native Species and Winterkill

Gigot’s FEEDING HOUR deftly reimagines motherhood and devotion in the most tender of ways. This book will remind you how to care and be cared for. I’m so smitten with these love poems that dare promise a possible landscape where “…we can finally have everything, be everything we are called to be; Ourselves, in our own parade. Riding the elephant in the room, back and forth between home and away.”

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Oceanic and World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

Reviews of Feeding Hour:

Mom Egg Review by Suzanne Edison

Seattle Book Review by Jane Manaster