Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
How to disappoint your mother

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To disappoint your mother, run with scissors
and amount to absolutely nothing.

Or go to college and land a job, not a man.

Pierce your nose.

Hire a nanny.

Sleep 'til noon.

To disappoint your mother, swear off baking.

Never make your bed, save leftovers or
go to church. To disappoint your mother,
stay in your pajamas all day and eat cold pizza
directly from the box in the fridge.

Decide to travel the world instead of having children.

Screen calls.

Drink too much champagne
at Cousin Eddie's wedding.

Say, "Fuck!"

To disappoint your mother, don't send
thank you notes, listen to country music
or balance your checkbook.

To disappoint your mother,
become a famous novelist who kills off
the mother character in each of her books.

Feel no guilt about not coming home
for Christmas.


Carolee Sherwood is a painter, mixed media artist, poet and mother of three boys, ages 8, 6, and 4. Her poetry has been published online at qarrtsiluni and women’synergy, and in print: the Winter 2008 edition of Ballard Street Poetry Journal and Issue 5 of Other. In 2006, WAMC, Northeast Public Radio, broadcast a recording of her personal essay about piercing her nose at age 33. Carolee blogs about the creative process in a life crowded with children and cluttered by moods at The Polka-Dot Witch blog. She is a contributor to a number of online poetry projects, including read write poem.


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