Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The Secret Life of a Vanishing Dream


I used to believe in the power of unlimited opportunity,
that if my children liked one marinara sauce,
then surely they'd like the next.

Just like I once believed life was like a series of beautifully furnished rooms,
maybe ascending up a staircase with an elaborate balustrade,
a crystal chandelier,
and pictures of white swans decorating the walls.

Anyhow, it wasn't true, and I learned to cook the same things over and over,
to make love to the same husband,
to cherish my friends.

I reuse cloth grocery bags,
and save the little plastic ones that produce comes in
so that I don't have to buy plastic wrap.

And I try to not to question why they refuse, for instance,
to eat a pasta of an unfamiliar shape.

Or to hate my husband for leaving his keys
all night
lodged in the lock of our front door.

But sometimes, I carve out a little space
to become a swan,
praying solemnly, my head dipping into that rippling pool,

where I can see us flying upward forever,
beyond the familiar clouds--
to where even the hinges of our white paint-chipped doors
become more beautiful.

Amber Momoh is a 28-year-old mother who lives with her husband and three kids in San Diego. She spent much of her youth doing volunteer work, first at an abused women and children’s shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, and later collecting books and distributing them to schools and libraries in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where her husband is from. She is an adult high school student and frequent poetry workshopper.

More from

I love how you use kid habits, how we have to find more space for beauty and stretching in the routine, Amber. Very, very nice.
Beautiful, Amber! Great work!
This made me laugh out loud! Such wisdom in the ordinary! Thank you!
Comments are now closed for this piece.