Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

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One blonde braid peeks out
above a plaid sleeping bag
slid off its mat
a tiny snore
like I imagine the sound of a small bear hibernating
(or is that just the influence of Disneyland?)
the braid slides forward
over the edge
and a blue eye appears
crusties in the corners and campfire soot
on one eyebrow
the eye crinkles when it sees me
and leads a nose and a smile
out of their warm cave
a chin the point of a heart
and then an arm attached
to a suntanned hand with grubby fingernails
reaches for me

I grab on and feel the tiny
lapis lazuli ring on the longest digit
our fingers interlace
and her lips form a perfect pucker
-- a Hershey's kiss would fit there --
she kisses the air towards my face
and I roll to the edge of my air mattress
face extended to mirror hers
our kiss becomes giggles
and a bright pink pair of footie pajamas
brings a lanky little body out of her bag
and quickly into mine
we squeeze up against each other and
against the cold of the Alpine morning
and I inhale deeply
smelling s'mores and soap from the hostel
and Johnson's baby shampoo

I bite into one braid and feel
arms and hands grow out of the space
between every rib

my whole torso reaches for her and holds her
in an embrace that starts
below our tent and our tarp
below the decomposed pine needles and rocky mountain rocks

below the vertebral crust of the Continental Divide
firmly anchored in our mammalian beginnings
at the evolutionary base camp

She tucks her head under my chin
and shudders into my body
and we sleep

Megan E. Freeman lives with her husband and daughter in Lafayette, Colorado, where she chairs the English department at a public charter school. She used to live in northeast Los Angeles, central Ohio, northern Norway, and on Caribbean cruise ships. She is a member of the Colorado State University Writing Project. Her poems will appear in forthcoming issues of UU World Magazine and Oxford Magazine.

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