Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

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And so you arrive,
ancient-faced houseguest,
like some relative out of a sepia-toned photograph,
surrounded by a thousand pounds
of duffel bags and steamer trunks,
the contents spilling loose down our front steps.
Nevermind that we invited you;
nevermind the months of notes we received about your coming;
still your arrival is a surprise.
Maybe we thought it had all been a joke,
a crazy thing we'd dreamed up,
the two of us in some restaurant,
dawdling chatty over the bill,
What would it be like if...?
Now we step past you onto the stoop,
look up and down the street,
which is just a few cars and sidewalk,
looking for someone to ask Is everyone sure about this?
There are no confirmations, no explanations
between the bumpers,
along the length of the concrete.
We go back into the house.
Inside, you have already spread your things
in a thin layer across the floor.
Mounds of clothes,
your arcane devices of entertainment.
There's no real time for explanations anyway --
where are our manners?
You must be cold;
you must be hungry;
you must need something.

David Harris Ebenbach is the author of two short story collections, Between Camelots (University of Pittsburgh Press), winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, and Into the Wilderness, a collection about parenting that won the Washington Writers Publishing House Prize, forthcoming in 2012.He is also the author of a non-fiction guide to the creative process called The Artist’s Torah, forthcoming in 2013. Please visit his website for more information.

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