Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
She

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She bought a dog. She didn't have a baby.
The womb-starved woman with the flat pink stomach
and B cup breasts was sad. The new pet was like
a piggy bank -- hollow. You could pick it up
and rattle it but you couldn't make it love.

She bought a second dog, for she had been
denied both a baby and love. The pet crowd cooed,
fawned over the creature so cute, almost sweet
to taste, and, it truly loved its new owner,
signified by wild thrashes of a stump tail.

It would not sit on her lap. She went shopping.
She couldn't have a baby. She had been refused
love on a lap. A third animal, with jewel
sparkly eyes was content. It even craved
the soft lines of her legs, but it was fickle.

It would fidget in her arms, not let her hold
it like a baby. She came home from the pet shop
one day with a dog creature about as sweet
as small modified wolves could be. She brought it
into her room, full of wet tongues and tails

and sat by a window. Dog four was wrapped
in her arms, winning her with dog doleful eyes,
but she stared at the passing clouds that looked
like all the clouds she'd watched before and wept,
because it wasn't a baby.


Graham Burchell was born in 1950 in Canterbury, England. He is the winner of the 2005 Chapter One Promotions Open Poetry Competition, the runner up in the 2005 “Into Africa” International Poetry Competition and a runner up in the 2006 Ware Open Poetry Competition. His poetry has appeared in many print and online literary magazines. He is the editor of the online poetry journal, Words-Myth, and now writes full-time from his home in Houston, Texas.


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