Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Shared Custody

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A third of the week,
my son lays on sheets
I've never touched
in an apartment
with night creaks
I haven't slept through.
He comes home
with a foreign smell.
Smoke in his hair.
From his pores, spices
of unfamiliar food.
After his bath,
I dress him in clothes
fresh from the wash, ask
what he did this weekend.
Always, he shrugs
and says, "Nothing."
But it isn't true.
I've seen photos
of my boy in playgrounds
I don't recognize,
at backyard parties
with children
whose names I don't know.


Ona Gritz is the author of two children’s books, two collections of poetry, and a memoir. Her essays have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including The Utne Reader, MORE magazine, the Bellingham Review, and, most recently, The Truth of Memoir: How to Write about Yourself and Others with Honesty, Emotion, and Integrity by Kerry Cohen. Ona lives in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. Her son Ethan is a college freshman.


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