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COLUMNS

Screw Normal by Marjorie Osterhout from Dear Marjo
Dear Marjo, I have two sons. My oldest, who is 7, has Down Syndrome, and my youngest, age 5, is “normal” – whatever that means.

Reader Response to Fallow: Remembering that Before Birth Comes the Cave by Cassie Premo Steele from Birthing the Mother Writer
The following essay by Beth Koruna shows the particular problems encountered by women who care for their parents and their children at the same time—and the need to break free of the “sandwich” in order to begin to take care of their own creative minds and healthy bodies again.

Selfie Love by Marjorie Osterhout from Dear Marjo
Dear Marjo, My daughter showed me some photos she posted on Instagram that she meant to be cute and funny. But there are a couple of comments that aren’t. In fact they’re really offensive.

Visits are Miracles by Avery Fischer Udagawa from Four Worlds
Mom visited us last month for the first time since our second child was born in 2011. It was rare to have her; we migrate to see family once to twice a year thanks to a leave allowance, but relatives can visit Thailand much less frequently.

CREATIVE NONFICTION

Mud and Trees by Dee Jones
The boys have dug a mud hole that’s turned into a dinosaur pond and taken over the garden path. The paving stones are an oasis of rock lined and scattered with bucketfuls of cheap plastic dinosaurs from the Dollar General.

Postpartum by Robin Silbergleid
You cry, sometimes, thinking of how much you wanted this, how long. You e-mail a picture to your doctor. You think, 35 weeks ago, he was a cluster of cells in a petri dish. And now, this boy.

A Lovely Disposition by Suzanne Farrell Smith
“What a cliché I am,” she thinks, even as cliché tears spill from her eyes and run in cliché streaks, sliding around her nose and tickling her upper lip in a clichéd way, because she can’t brush them off—she is, after all, trying to feed the baby.

FICTION

Winged Petasos by Rachel Stewart Johnson
There used to be wind here. Buckwheat and sage, toyon, scrub oak and sumac were the prayers of coyotes, and there were roadrunners with lizards clasped in their beaks. Now there is a blue streak of toothpaste on the counter that surrounds the bathroom sink in Unit 14 at the Vista Mobile Estates.

LITERARY REFLECTIONS

Now Reading: February 2014 by Libby Maxey

Truth Be Told by Barbara Straus Lodge
In an effort to spare our two young children the inevitable pain of a broken family, my husband and I spent a year attempting to move from acrimony to reconciliation. Yet, the decade of lies we’d already told ourselves and each other made that impossible.

Writing Prompt: Truth Be Told by Barbara Straus Lodge by Libby Maxey
What compels you to put the truth of your life on paper?

Essential Reading: Distance by Libby Maxey

POETRY

The Way We Were by Joan Glass

Fast Forward by Shannon Connor Winward

Lost by Sharon Waller Knutson

Intervention by Jan Ball

After the Diagnosis by Cheryl Dumesnil

His Currency by Cheryl Dumesnil

REVIEWS

Adopting a Son, Becoming a Mother: A Review of Susanne Antonetta’s Make Me a Mother by Andrea Lani
Quoting psychiatrist E. James Lieberman, who wrote, “Indeed, we all have to adopt our children psychologically,” Antonetta expands the reach of Lieberman’s suggestion, declaring, “In fact, we psychologically adopt everyone we invite to enter our lives.”

Children, Illness and the Blessing of Language: A Review of House and Fire by Julie Swarstad Johnson
In Maria Hummel’s debut poetry collection, House and Fire, we inhabit a mother’s world as she cares for a chronically ill child, a timeless space where past, present, and future blur together beneath longing for health.


The Literary Mama Blog Editor searches for mama-centric news you can use — including information about publishing opportunities and literacy efforts; essays and writing prompts that motivate and inspire; and announcements about events, classes, and workshops. The current blog editors are Laura Roberts and Rudri Patel; read their bios here and here.


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