Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

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My mother taught me
To mistrust young women.
I can see her in the swivel chair
In the dark maple den
Holding up a glass of scotch to her
Eyes like a telescope
And she hums with no melody.
She peers in my direction
And looks through me.
She won't turn her mottled lens on me,
That would mean she
Acknowledges my living in this house.
The place where she will kill herself
Thirty years ago.

Elizabeth Swados is an award-winning author and composer; she is a Tony-nominated, Obie award-winning theater artist, Guggenheim and Ford Foundation recipient, as well as a Pen/Faulkner citation. Her latest book, At Play: Teaching Teenagers Theater was published by Faber and Faber. Her other recent publications include: My Depression (Hyperion), and The Animal Rescue Store (Scholastic). Her theatrical credits span from Broadway, to off-Broadway, to around the world, including Runaways, Missionaries, and Jabu. Her poetry has appeared in magazines such as Meridian Anthology, New American Writing, New York Quarterly, Emory’s Journal, Confrontation, Paterson Literary Review, Speakeasy, Barrow Street, Runes, and Home Planet. Her first book of poetry, The One and Only Human Galaxy, was released in April 2009.

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Wow. Elizabeth. This touches me deeply. Whew! Humming with no melody and then suicide without acknowledgment. Very powerful piece. Thank you.
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