The near-full moon is shining through thin clouds and thick / leaves of the old magnolia. / We pace the short stretch of sidewalk, down and back
Kristin Bartley Lenz
I huff into her room, hackles / raised, determined / to confiscate / that damned device, but / she smiles, pats her bed. / I stretch out beside her, slump / into her pillow, a puff / of strawberries and sweat.
Mother braved the ward with a bag of blue plums / while you ran to ground like a hunted fox. // Blood pulsed in dark flanks over far fields, / a mess of costive roots, the sky sweating salty rain. // I could eat no plum, nor any stone fruit.
Lisa M. Hase-Jackson
His standing barefoot on my doorstep / on a ten-degree day in the middle / of a Kansas winter is what made me forget / boundaries or calling cops, therapists, // or social workers and opt instead / to give up the couch to my otherwise / homeless son.
Tricia Friesen Reed
I didn’t stop until she begged to get out, / to step off the path to / grab a handful of Saskatoon berries, / to stand by the pond and yell / over the deafening chorus / of red-wing blackbirds, / to pinch off wild chamomile flowers and stick them up her nostrils / like an old woman inhaling smelling salts.
I didn’t know I had you in me then. / Christmas morning. The still Kona Bay opened / and took me in, finned, slick as angelfish, / the ribboning black and white bodies. / I’d tried before. Seasick. Licked in the waves.
Mary, did they wag their fingers no at unpasteurized milk? / Did you have to count your protein for too little / and your tuna for too much, / fretting mercury might metalize / the haloed brain of the divine?
In Bellingham, Mo and I / stand chatting and scanning the sea / on a clear and chilly February day. / Our kids run about playing pirates / and throwing rocks in the water. // It’s been a few years since / we’ve seen each other, / the last time on an icebreaker / sailing north from Antarctica.
when the bright star / is hidden in fog, // when frankincense and myrrh / get lost in the luggage, // when I stand in the doorway, / burping the baby, waving goodbye, // there is just this: / my sheer humanness…
Anna Gates Ha
Catch it with your net, / twist the green fabric, / bring it beneath a moon / like your toes. / Make a flesh chrysalis, / ask me if I feel the wings / against your palm / because in three years / you have not learned that you can feel things / that I cannot.
We publish poetry that has some element of the unexpected–whether it’s the language, the imagery, or the emotion—yet feels honest. Do you have a poem that acknowledges the intensity of motherhood? Read more about submitting your work here.