Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

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He won't take my breast now.
the milk has changed,
my smell, the skin of the areolas
has turned in the progesterone of pregnancy.

He wants me.
I saw it last night in the half-light,
trying to walk him to sleep for the second time.
In his exhaustion and frustration,
he beat my shoulder,
his face scrunched up and puckered,
almost like a grown man's, that rage,
the merging of the adult and the baby,
two faces mirrored, juxtaposed
in unison on the same surface.
I saw him speak from beyond
his wordlessness, his lack.

When I sat down and offered my breast
again for the fourth or fifth time that day,
he buried his head in it,
mouth opened but unlatched,
unable to latch,
his hand already pushing me away,
his cry downward, into my arm,
into the cradle space of my body
that he is having to outgrow.

Deanna Jones grew up in the Philippine Islands as the daughter of missionaries. She taught secondary level English and Language Arts for nine years. She was the Writing Consultant for the Carrollton Farmers-Branch ISD and now runs private writing workshops. Her work has appeared in IIlya’s Honey, Spillway, Sulphur River Literary Review, Rattle, Descant, Literary Mama, and others. She lives in Frisco, Texas with her husband and two young sons, Zachariah and Connor.

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