Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Winter Bath

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I feed you edamame and red Jello,
instilling Bad Habits like lavender oil
into the bath water, but salt
and sweet in delectable opposition,
red and green in easy succession,
delight you, one bean balanced
on each slippery knee, your long hair
wet and glistening. You have stopped
asking me to help you rinse.

Vermeer might have painted you:
alabaster skinned and full lipped,
the last of this day's light
seeping in from the window behind you.

You hand me edamame shells,
take my cupped hands for granted.
Your breasts do not yet push tenderly out
like grape hyacinth, always earlier
than we expect; spring, its easy abandonment
of the long-nestled winter, never
so far away as February imagines.

Sharon Dornberg-Lee is a geriatric social worker in Chicago. She has a nine-year-old daughter. Her poetry has recently appeared in Earth’s Daughters. Her essay “Cold Turkey on Big Bird” was featured on the Chicago Public Radio program Eight Forty-Eight.

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