Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Some Villanelles Go Nowhere

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I'm tired of that game we always play.
Turn up the volume. Hey! The light's turned green.
The license plates that count are out of state.

Can we get where we're going in just one day?
You said we'd take a break at Dairy Queen.
I'm tired. This game we always liked to play

with dad. I wish he didn't have to stay
behind at home. I wish you weren't so mean.
The license plates that count are out of state.

Without a map, it's hard to know the way
I didn't draw that face on the windscreen.
I'm tired of the games we have to play.

Mom, turn the headlights on; it's getting late.
The moon looks bored and blue. I haven't seen
any license plates that count. We're out of state

by now. Those big roads, shaped like figure eights
go on and on forever, a bad dream
that puts us in a game we hate to play
where all the license plates are out of state.


Carolyn Harris Zukowski is first and foremost, a mother to Aidan (11) and Max (6), as well as a surrogate to twenty-five backpackers and travelers who stay at her Hostel Krumlov House in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic. Carolyn has recently given birth to The Literary Bohemian, an online literary journal and directory of writer-friendly accommodations. Her poetry can be found in 14by14, Literary Mama, Perigee, and Umbrella Journal.


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