Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
When He Returns

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When her man goes to war,
each morning she dons
her own war paint.
Her mission:
Keep the troops
fed, clothed,
safe.

She marches on
through seasons of
snow, mud, sand,
sustained by rations
of babysitters and red wine.

Each night, her canine sentry
keeps guard
from her husband's
side of the bed.
Until, one day, she finds the dog
lifeless on her kitchen floor.

She covers the corpse.
She can't imagine
how she'll move
the heavy weight herself.
But she does.

When he returns,
his dog will be gone,
his baby will be a boy,
she will fix basement floods herself
and lock the door at night.


Kyle Potvin’s poetry has appeared in Measure, Tygerburning Literary Journal, The Mom Egg, JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), Blue Unicorn, The New York Times’ “Well” blog, among other publications, and in 2008, she was named a finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Kyle is principal of a public relations firm and co-founder of The Prickly Pear Poetry Project: Processing the Cancer Experience Through Poetry. She lives with her husband and two sons (11 & 9) in New Hampshire.


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