Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
To Two Teenage Girls Playing with One Another’s Hair in the Back of My Classroom

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Maybe it's the way you braid
those black satin bands,
delicate gesture of turning one's back
that says Here's what I've got.        Be gentle.
I imagine you girls in lost centuries
sitting beneath an olive tree
or silky indigo tent, perhaps near
the Yangtze or Mekong, surrounded
by star anise, pea pods, half-moon.
I know I can't sit with you, can't
offer clip or silver-dipped barrette,
proffer ponytail or loose bun.
What's worse, no one can return
to that soapy tub where mothers
comb out wet tangles.
But someone could try being gentle.

Katie Fesuk was a 2006 Georgia Author of the Year Award nominee for her chapbook, If Not an Apple (La Vita Poetica Press). She is a teacher and Poet in Residence at The Walker School. She lives with her husband, Damian, and son, Sawyer, born February 19, 2008.

Her poems can be found online in Stirring, Kennesaw Review, The Apple Valley Review, and Sea Stories and in print journals such as Slant, The Chattahoochee Review, Water~Stone, Rock & Sling, No Tell Motel, Atlanta Review, and wicked alice.

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