Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Online Writing: The Best of the First Ten Years

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Suzanne Edison's, The Moth-Eaten World, originally published in Literary Mama, will be included in the anthology, Online Writing:
The Best of the First Ten Years

The Moth-Eaten World
by Suzanne Edison

(for my daughter, at four)

If your eyes were like tea leaves
instead of roasted coffee beans, oily brown,
thick with residue, or like grains of corn pollen
Native Americans used as blessings,
silken light — I might read them.

I might know where
you were those first few days
after knobby midwife palms
caught your crinkled body, after
your birth mother’s unshakeable hands
held you.

I search the adoption papers for clues.
Translated from Spanish spaces grow
between words, words lose
sense, the way glitter flakes
from your fairy princess wand, trailing
no discernible pattern.

And when your body quivers, sensing
a faint felt memory, traceable as
Braille, the raised bumps circling
a mother’s aureole, or lips filled with warm
milk, the almost unendurable sweetness—

I want to shake loose a story,
rattle my stick of bones
and teeth, and return from the Other World
with a cloth monkey, a bag of herbs,
something without holes.

Suzanne Edison’s work has appeared in a recent anthology titled Face to Face: Women Writers on Faith, Mysticism and Awakening, Seattle Woman magazine and with the King County Arts Program, Poetry on Buses 2004. She lives with her husband and daughter in Seattle, Washington.

Amy Stockwell Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and three sons. An MFA graduate in Creative Writing from Queens University, she writes about art and artist profiles for Charleston Magazine, The City Paper, Charleston Art Mag, and Art Papers. Amy also writes about living with chronic illness, and is finishing a book about women with diabetes for Demos Health. When she needs to get out of her own head, she teaches college students how to write the 5 paragraph essay. You can read more of her writing at her website.

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