Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Tuesday Mornings

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Tuesday mornings
we meet for coffee,
breakfast or lunch.
On a street corner,
I pick you up in
my car. In the cold,
your glasses grow
foggy.

Holding you close
I remember carrying
you in my womb,
and the smells of
a newborn's freshly
washed head and of
mother's milk on your
breath.

Now, the scent is stale.
Stains mark ill-fitting
clothing yet don't
diminish your smile.
You are happy here in
my car,
as am I.

We stop at distant
destinations marking time,
taking care of life's
business, bills you
no longer can remember
to pay.

You no longer
live in a forward-moving
existence. Stuck in
a time warp of
illness, one you still
avoid rather than
embrace, you bounce
between couches of
strangers, coffee shops,
and benches.

Sometimes I give you money
and you ride the buses;
Boston to New York,
New York to Philadelphia,
and other destinations.
On the bus, you sleep
between rest stops
clutching precious
belongings.

The visit over,
we wipe remaining
crumbs from our laps
and lips as I pull
up to your home.
A box set up behind
a dumpster.

"Please get some help,"
I plead. Again.
"I will, I promise,"
you say, peering out
through half-open
lids. Your mouth
speaks, but eyes
don't see.

Tomorrow you will
forget this conversation
while you're looking
for a friendly place
to store your bagged
belongings.

The door opens. You
emerge from my car
wrapping your clothing
tightly around your body
for warmth. Next week,
I make a promise
to buy you
something warm.


Merle Huerta, an army chaplain’s wife, is the mother of a blended family of thirteen children. During her husband’s combat deployments, she co-authored articles appearing in the Jerusalem Post and National Review. She has a Master�s from Columbia University in Instructional Media and Technology and a Certificate in Nonfiction from The Writers Institute at CUNY. She lives at the U.S. Military Academy in New York. “Tuesday Mornings” is her first solo publication.


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