Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The Things We Do for Love

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When you were singing it
in your dorm room
wrapped in the Marimekko quilt
that covers your daughter now
on nights when she can't fall asleep,

you thought you knew
all too well what it meant --
the compromised self
settling for what it could get
or hiding what it wanted.

You didn't know then
about nights like these,
when starving for sleep
you'd stay up to write a poem
on a fairy's behalf
for your first girl's
first fallen tooth,

then wake 3:00 a.m.
to trade a gold coin
for this retrieved bit
of your girl,
the pearly seed
of the love
from which she's sprouting.

One down, twenty-seven to go,
times three children.

The things we do for love.


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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