Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Wrestling the Octopus

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Piper likes her legs to dangle
Fully, lifeless, limp
Like tentacles
Her midsection shapes to your shoulder
Her baby body melts to your breast
If Piper's legs brush flesh or the seat of your rocking chair,
Anything that might give you a moment of rest,
She kicks you back up to walk the floor

And because she has a fever, you do
And because she is teething, you do
Or because she is hot or cold, you do
And because she is probably your last baby, you do

So you stand at the kitchen counter
Wrestling your octopus
Nursing a cup of cold coffee
Your journal open
Hip to counter just right so Piper's legs dangle
Writing poetry
A chubby padded foot kicking your pen


Melissa Scholes Young’s work has appeared in Narrative, Ploughshares, Huffington Post, Poets & Writers, Poet Lore, and other literary journals. She’s a Contributing Editor for Fiction Writers Review. She teaches at American University in Washington, D.C. and is a Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Fellow. Her novel was a finalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship.


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