Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
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             for Micaela

I can still slice my childhood open
and tease what was never healed
out to play.

On the edges,
I waited to fall
into gaggles of girls.
Mixed potions of
glue, crushed eye shadow
and dandelions.
Looked for Bloody Mary in bathroom mirrors
and mounds of earth.

The impossible possibilities
revealed to me in the midst
of the ordinary.
My imagination:
protective corona of light.
My heart:
a bloody ornament.

And always
Grownups glittered;
their brilliance a
double edged adjective;
dangerous, alluring, and
capable of cutting a moment in two.
I was an invisible anchor;
slender source of
a passion my parents once shared.
No choice in the knitting of bones

My daughter came to us:
cleaved on a rainy day
no time to get out of the reunion bed.
Already knowing that history could repeat itself
I rode the wall with my heels,
holding her in a soup of possible souls

Through what fathoms will her doubts sweep?
How to measure the fragility of this child
against my own childhood?
There it lies, melon-like,
open and pink on the sidewalk,
sultry day of seeds and spit
steam rising through the cracks.
Jagged dreams of fireflies
In the dark with the lights
one by one
turning off, turning on,
and I find myself once again,
poised on the edge of the woods
lid clapping against a Ball Jar.

Jeanne Higgs writes poetry and essays, is a freelance translator, and is mother to two girls. Previous work has been published in The Comstock Review, Skirt! Magazine, and Tales from a Small Planet.

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