Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
What I Would Show Her

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He is a shark under the blankets, some part
of him continually in motion yet not waking.
I like the way his forehead sweats even in
the coldest Chicago winter, his fine black hair
decoupaged to his skin, bronze skin that flakes
with a filmy layer of white in dry weather.
He sighs and smacks his lips, exhales loose teeth
and peppermint. I should tell you how much I like
his ears, fuzzy shells where I listen for the sea
of his pulse, round like my ears, a feature we share
despite no common DNA. I love the way his lashes
fan out like peacock feathers on his cheek after
all day in the folds of his eyes. Let's talk about his
His pudgy wrists have folds, his hands seemingly
screwed on like an old G.I. Joe doll, his palms
I love holding his feet, fragile and warm as hairless
puppies in my hands, each toe a pink pearl I could rub

against my teeth to assure it's real. I could go on --
his belly like a firm melon, his eyebrows like black
commas, his white teeth like snow volcanoes erupting
from his gums -- but it's such a cliché for a mother
to watch her child in sleep. I apologize. I can't help
myself. I do it because I never thought I would.
I do it for her because she never will.

Donna Vorreyer’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, her dog, and (when he is not away at school) her son. Visit her at her website or her blog for more information.

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