Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Presage

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He is eight and wouldn't go
to soccer practice yesterday.

He will never be able
to sustain a marriage.

Tonight he couldn't sit still
during High Holy Day services.

He will never be able
to function in a workplace.

Then as I am tucking him in,
feeling that he is warm,

he begins to squirm and retch
with the whole of his small body

and I switch my indictment
as quickly as I flip on the bathroom bulb.

I ache and repent through
the ensuing days of Jello and saltines

until one morning I don't
give him a popsicle for breakfast.

And he goes back to asking,
as he so often does, at eight,

"What's in it for me?"
And I imagine the pillage.


Arlyn Miller teaches poetry to young people in schools and the community in the Chicago area through Poetic License, Inc., an organization she founded and directs. She is married to a guy with a good sense of humor and is the mother of three inspirational children who often serve as her muses. Arlyn’s poetry has appeared in CALYX, Freefall, Literary Bohemian, Moon Journal, The Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, and Her Mark Journal 2008.


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