Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Two Discoveries

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The eighth grader tiptoes into her mother's dressing room
as a foraging doe might enter a winter orchard.
The house is empty. Gingerly she opens and closes drawers,
examines a turquoise broach, sprays Chanel No. 5 on her throat,
and wrangles a mile of pearls.
Her mouth is dry.

She opens the lingerie drawer, rummages through large white panties,
taut girdles, full slips. She selects a beige bra and loops each arm
through the straps so that they rest like loose reins over her shoulders.
She poses profile in the full-length mirror, returns to the drawer,
hunts for the two prostheses. They squoosh firm as jellyfish filling her
palms.
She tosses them in the air, deftly juggles them like tennis balls.

She removes her t-shirt, fills each bra cup, arranges them flat side
to her puffy new breasts, then whips on her shirt, admires herself in the
mirror.
Half turn left, right. She runs her hands over her size C breasts, squeezes
them,
jogs in place to watch how they lumber; she pretends to smoke a cigarette.
Her mouth is wet.

The garage door shuts, she rips off the bra, slams the drawer,
and poses nonchalantly in the TV room. Later that night,
she hears her mother open and close, pause, open and close, the bureau
drawers.


Markie Babbott is the mother of a 5th and 1st grader (who is just about to lose her third tooth!) and a clinical psychologist in western Massachusetts. Now that her kids are firmly settled in elementary school, she has returned to her passion for poetry and the arts. Her work has appeared in Perigee and was chosen as a “Poem of the Day” by Poets Against the War in 2003.


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