Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The Hymn

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Off the Peach Wing
in Arden Courts,
they are holding church.
I walk slowly past the diorama:
coins, telephone and newspapers
of the 1940s.
I smile back at the small smiles of those
who think they know me.

I hear the hymn, and I don't know it.
My mother would, except for today.
She is in there, a place she wouldn't go
in real life.
She is crying, which she would never do
in front of strangers no matter how kind.
She says the music is sad, they made her go.
They said it would be good for her.

I hold her hand, dry and distant--
did I ever hold her hand before?
I ease her back to her peach room,
two rights and a left.
I coo, I reassure. I might even be humming.
I look at my mother, and know
escape is imminent.


Maggie Rosen lives in Maryland with her husband and 9-year-old daughter. Her poems have been published in Sow’s Ear, Minimus, Plainsongs, and several anthologies. She has worked as an education writer and teacher of English to speakers of other languages.


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