Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
What You Wanted

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We could say I gave you what you wanted:
a smaller you with fists that clutch at air, tiny nails scratching my chin.
We could say the labor was a breeze, so short, like it never happened.
That we didn't know the sex until he pushed his way out.

a smaller you, you, you, with inky curls wilting against a soft head.
That he stops crying once you unlock the deadbolt, your swinging
suitcase pushing through the door before your feet.

a baby who plays with plastic gavels instead of teething keys.
That he knows faces now and that he wants to push out
sounds like words, but can't quite yet. That you talk for him.
That you tell strangers in grocery stores about him.


Jenny Sadre-Orafai is not a mother, but has one and thinks she is the best. Sadre-Orafai’s chapbook Weed Over Flower was chosen for publication by Finishing Line Press. She serves as poetry editor for New South and JMWW.


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