Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Tender Button

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after Gertrude Stein's "Objects" from Tender Buttons

The button in the hole is worth three on the tree. The newness is here.
We didn't need to search. Your fat dimpled finger signifies
with the assurance of all that is. See the silken skin on the button?
A kind connection. Inside of me you slept. This was not to be assumed.
I saw it. It was nice.


There was certainly no assumption, and perhaps if contraception is
not natural then there is some use in conception. But watch out, and also.
The condom can be charming, very charming. Wait 'til you're way older.
Babies are not a vegetable. There can be no interpretation of obligation.
Rooms would be cleaner. Perhaps then, keep them apart. One could say,
it's wild being apparent, not perhaps, wholeheartedly. Certainly all the work
is handsome and very convincing.

More of my double.

Digression can be worthy. Along all these lines are more lines.
There is gratitude in midwives and herbal medicine. The agate agreement
with God. The button is a cushion, a wish for food and streams of banded light.
There can be no breaks between our disconnected cords. We chose the color.
It showed knitting and perhaps washing and ironing.


A seal and safety latches, a gosling and ivy and a dress.

Light pink and the same lavender with blue makes change.
Nearly 12 o'clock was pretty. It's irregular of red to eat up all the white.
That's not good, but you are. Your button is tenderized and singing.
The song utters utters and deliverance. Together, your first home, the first button tender,
covered by the dying green of spring, a clump of cooked spinach falling off, exposing
the button, a button, the tender button.

Pamela Hughes’ poetry has appeared in: Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism, Rock Salt Plum Review, Thema, Brooklyn Review, Timber Creek Review, The Minnesota Review, The Paterson Literary Review, and elsewhere. She has work forthcoming in HazMat. Pamela was one of the finalists of the 2005 Malahat Long Poem Prize for her poem “The Meadowlands.” She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College and teaches creative writing at Bloomfield College in New Jersey. After lots of procrastination and two newborns having transformed themselves into toddler and kid, poetry has taken hold again!

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