Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Mother Love

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When I dug my daughter from the grave,
I knew exactly what I was doing. That day
in August, the swelling heat made
everyone crazy, but I wasn't about to stop.
I scratched furiously through the dirt,
pried the coffin open and lifted her up.
After I reached inside her, scooped out
what was left of her heart, held it
against my cheek, I imagined her grabbing
my wrists, begging me to leave her alone.
Because I refused to believe she didn't need
me anymore, I took her home, sat her
at the kitchen table where, like always,
she came alive. She made fun of the way I
dressed a chicken, the same sloppy way
I dress myself. And when we laughed,
I thought for a moment she was mine
again. But, as usual, she had other plans.


Nina Soifer’s poems have appeared online in hotmetalpress, and Chickenpinata, and in various print journals including The Literary Review, Alimentum and Thema, among others. She lives at the Jersey Shore where she is a freelance food writer and a new grandmother.


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Oh, so sad and beautiful. Your poem captures a sense of hopeless longing...just beautiful.
As the mother of two little daughters, this poem makes me want to cry. I can sense the longing, the need for the mother/speaker to feel useful to her daughter long after she has gone (either in a literal or figurative grave).
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