Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Dishes

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A thumb-smear on the tile floor, the smell
of blood, menstrual, in the room where I am
on my haunches, waiting to catch my friend
if she pitches forward, giving up what she said

she expected to: she knew it wouldn't take,
didn't even tell us until the midnight call
that fetched my sweetheart - still wearing his coat, ready
for a hospital run - and me, wielding towels.

Her husband tends the three-year-old, hectic
in the late commotion, the grownups gathered
for what must be a party, but too patient
and too sad. And when she settles on the couch -

stanched, hand on the phone - we watch the boy
rocket through the room, firm and loud in his skin,
while his father leaves to stand at the sink
and wash dishes, dishes, every dish in reach.


Laura Cherry is the author of a chapbook, What We Planted, which was awarded the 2002 Philbrick Poetry Award by the Providence Athenaeum. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in journals including Asphodel, Argestes, Forklift: Ohio, Agenda, and the Vocabula Review. It has also appeared in the anthologies Present Tense: Writing and Art by Young Women, and Vocabula Bound. Laura received an MFA from Warren Wilson College. She lives near Boston with her partner and their three-year-old daughter.


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