Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Women’s Work

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In the old farmhouse kitchen in Spring Mills
by candlelight and kerosene, we eat apples
and chocolate, sip cinnamon tea, tell our dreams:

An easy birth for you, conception for me,
healthy babies, sweet marriages, rooms
of our own. Friendship that endures.

I touch your belly and your daughter leaps
against my fingers. We cannot speak. Then,
laughter sweeps through us, hot and sweet.

We imagine spring, nursing our babies
on the porch swing; the return of geese
and green, the poems and weavings still to come.

Tonight, everything is possible; I will find
that balance of love and work; our children
will be best friends; you will always live close by.

It's midnight when you walk me to my car,
your husband's boots pulled over swollen feet,
his down jacket tight across your belly.

By May, my stomach will be gently rounding
We'll load your furniture into the U-Haul truck.
In time, distance will do its dirty work

But tonight, the air tastes of wood smoke, pine
sap, wild joy. Our mingled breath rises
a luminous wreath in the silvery cold.

Mary Rohrer-Dann has a daughter, Chelsea – so beautiful in all ways – who just turned 21 (yikes!); the daughter of the friend to whom this poem is dedicated is about to deliver her own little girl. Mary has published short stories and poems in Poets Against the War, PaperGraders Anthology, the anthology An Intricate Weave: Women Write About Girls and Girlhood, and elsewhere; her play “Insurance” is scheduled for a reading in spring 2007. She teaches creative writing and Women Studies at Penn State University.

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