Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Between Us

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We sit on the couch,
you with The Economist,
me with my novel,
space between us wide.
Though our toes touch,
I see you through a mist.
Who are you? I don't
know anymore.
We have a child and everything else
is forgotten between us.

What was our shared life,
those nine months before his conception?
I cannot remember dating,
courtship, a bottle of wine,
dinners authored together.
Now you absorb news of the world,
and I, some other person's story,
our private narratives lost to silence.

We don't know how to be together yet
with that invisible sleeping child between us.

When we met I wanted to know your past,
to imagine your life before me.
We were old already, forty years,
eighty between us. What was your narrative?
I wanted to tell you mine. It would take a long time.

Then, our child,
the couch, print in our eyes.

From here your heart specks the horizon,
and my desire enormous and mute
leans, reaches, fingers through silence
towards you.


Cheryl Chaffin earned an MFA from Goddard College. Before she was a mother she thought motherhood a bane to writing, but she has since learned otherwise. She has recently published poems in Poesy and Diamond Dust. She teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at Cabrillo College in Aptos.


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