He’s the one rocking you, / there in the corner. / I hear him as I approach, / his voice soft and quiet, / humming melodies of services / written by ancestors in centuries past. // The only words that come easily / in a place like this are words / in a language you hardly know…
Diana Michelle Love
Five a.m. is my father’s time / then and now / his and mine / when the world sleeps / and we, respectful caretakers of the dawn / cradle cold glasses / and speak in low voices / we fill ourselves with conversation / against the coming day / because we will not meet like this again…
My three-year-old is rocking back and forth on a plastic pony while I supervise my one-year-old in the Tot Spot, whose high point is a single structure with one stair on each side that my daughter climbs again and again and again.
Mary Ellen Talley
This techie dad / at his monster green recycling bin, / stuffs folded cardboard / from baby swing, / double stroller, / newborn diaper packaging, / says clinic cushioned seats / had been soft / and there was music wafting / at no more cost / than if the procedure had been done day one.
Rebecca Hart Olander
Find alternate routes / as if there is another path through this thicket, / as if we are sleeping beauties / and can be kissed out of our darkness, / as if we can cut away kudzu / and it will stop letting down its insidious hair…
For the mother who rises / in darkness to baby sleep noises / sigh tiny cough exhale little grunt // blanketed in the film of her eye, / tucked into her heartbeat. / She cries over capturing her own silent film. // This is a new year of industry. / Tears soaking her palm, she prays hard / to the one God above the sanctuary– …
A modest stardom, her opera’s at home: / a yam-ham Pampers rhapsody. / Part shopper, mopper, mad horse / stopper, she tames the yard, / shreds the reams, a poet trapped / at Pharaoh’s hamper.
Mama sprinkled sumac on greasy burgers / because fast food smelled like burning tires. // Aleppo pepper drizzled like red rain / on the macaroni and cheese. She added // a pinch of cumin on the Cobb salad / because the ranch dressing felt naked // on her tongue.
Sarah Dickenson Snyder
I doubt she’ll return / the things she’s taken— / a lipstick, tweezers, a necklace. // I’m not too mad, except maybe in the moment— / when I’m in the shower, leg lathered, reach for the razor / I’d left on the lip of the tub.
It took the town of Salem / nine months / to press and burn
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.