Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Mother-Son Dance at the Elementary School

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In a gym full of boys in Hawaiian shirts,
plastic leis thrown midair are meant to land
back over heads and ears and shoulders --
a bright, frenetic game of ring toss.

Soon the floor will clear and we will sway
with our sons wrapped around
our middles in the brevity of a song.
Somewhere between too tight
and too distracted the hula-hoops
orbit and the limbo stick lowers.

The night air is full of thunder
and the smoke of burning orchards.
Outside on a break between songs,
we hear a mother on her cell phone
telling someone that her son is ignoring her --
the idiot, she laments into darkness.

Through the windows and the confetti
trickle of plastic petals and raffle tickets,
another boy awkwardly dances
the same four steps that his mother
is pointing out to him again --
an invisible constellation on the floor.

She is statuesque in her high-heeled boots,
hair red and gleaming like Apollo's muse.
With his small hands around her waist,
he counts each beat in earnest and holds her
like a column of tattooed porcelain --
as if he is holding her up
for all the rest of us to see.


Laura Sobbott Ross has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize in the past two years, and her poetry appears in the Columbia Review, Calyx, Natural Bridge, Tar River Poetry, Slow Trains, and The Caribbean Writer, among many others. She was named a finalist in the Creekwalker Poetry Prize. She has a daughter, who is twelve, and a son, who is ten.


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Your last line..............so touching. I just love the mother son thing. For me, it's become invisible (my son is 16) but so very strong. We don't talk about our relationship. It just is. Sometimes I imagine what my son will tell others about me , when he's an adult. Maybe something like, "My mother was always there...She was really something else!
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