Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
After Pregnancy

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Let's not talk about pears tonight
or the lemons at the shop that were so bright
they called the bees indoors.

Let's not talk about the girl who tucked
the first daffodil of the season behind
her right ear, or come to think of it,

girls in general, thighs glimpsed
on their passing. Let's not talk
about gardenia scents and our grandmothers

in their prime after the war, when the men
had returned and there was a hint
of much to outrun and much to enjoy.

Let's not talk about red lips, pink lips,
coral lips, bare. Let the trees go on
this week still leafless and not imply

they'll ever be any other way. Last spring,
I was pregnant and at home in this tableau
tipping towards fecundity.

This season, it's my boy who belongs
among rosebuds and me, not dramatic
as some nun in the Mexican high hills

dried to a hard-wrung beauty
but certainly, different than I was.
The crop I tend now returned to me

from all those other years:
back to the bones plumbed deep
awaiting the final say.


Shelley Girdner lives, writes, teaches, and mothers in New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in Indiana Review and Conscience. She has a 19-month-old son and another boy forthcoming in December.


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