Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

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--for Eliza

The spider drool and the speed
of it flung across the page and how immediately
the mind begins its work --
knitting, fretting. It is the element of chance
I can't get used to -- you
toss sticks or stones on a bare floor
and believe the future
is spelled out. As it might be? As it is?
Yes, Molly Bloom tells us, I said yes I will Yes and
my chest never fails to feel flayed,
open. How it was when I learned you
were to be born. Inkblot,

And so the indigo spreads through the
fabric of the page. It is twilight. It is delta
fanning to ocean. The hour birds
flap upwards like stones flung from
a hand. The cry of you like glass,
and the water spraying outward, stalks
and petals flying everywhere.
Something like what dancers wish for
when they pretend to be willow or
the snowmelt of the river. Love, they call
it, bread, war. The quickening in them
as their bodies flex, open.

Sheila Black is a mother of three who lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and works for the Colonias Development Council, which does community organizing in border colonia communities. She also teaches part-time in the English Department of New Mexico State University. Her poems have been published in many print and on-line journals, including Blackbird, DMQ Review, and Puerto Del Sol. Her first book, House of Bone, is forthcoming from CustomWords Press in early 2007. Among her awards are the Ellipsis Prize, judged by Stanley Plumly; a 2003 Editor’s Choice Award from Heliotrope Magazine; and the 2000 Frost-Pellicer Frontera Prize given annually to a U.S. and a Mexican poet living along the U.S.-Mexican border.

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