Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Joy Empties, Refills

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"Dump," Z. says as he pours
water out of the bucket at the children's museum
or out of the bowl in the bath
or when he sees a dump truck on the highway
or tips his plastic farm train. "Dump"
or "I dump." The word is long in his mouth,
emphasis on the "u," and uttered
with relish. Somehow the action or prospect of tipping
over, letting out, intentionally spilling has been mixed up
with happiness. Happiness could be
the liquid you mix with dirt to make a gooey mud
that can be ejected from the bed
of a toy truck as that bed is tilted up. "Dump"--
a source of joy you never knew existed or long ago forgot,
and maybe now you can vanquish "down in the dumps,"
"I was dumped," and "it was taken to the dump"
for this emerged exhalation, perhaps from the Dutch dompen
but the source of sudden letting go stays stubborn, unrooted.


Ann Tweedy’s chapbook, Beleaguered Oases, was published by CreativePress in 2010, and her poetry has appeared in Clackamas Literary Review, Rattle, damselfly press, and elsewhere. Originally from Massachusetts, she recently moved to Minnesota after having spent most of her adult life on the West Coast. She is the proud mother of a toddler.


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