Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood


we met two days after her birthday
we planned it all for her
remembering what we had promised
carefully sitting around the table

we ate Lebanese eggs
sipped from dark pools of French coffee
we discussed the details dispassionately
we felt we were sophisticated

calculating the number and kinds of pills she might need
if we should make an extra key to check on her progress
whether she might be lucid at the right time
when she needed it most

(only yesterday those vague eyes
rose up to briefly meet mine, and then let go)

we agreed no blame would be placed
we were very careful with each other
it had been a long time since we all had been together
we did not wish it to be a reunion of regret

I pushed the eggs around on my plate
listening to the little clinks of my fork
allowing bits of yolk to scatter
then secretly collecting them back again

Susan Morse was raised in California, but she now resides in Maine and teaches Language Arts at a rural middle school. Having an elderly mother and two college-age daughters who now live on the West Coast, common themes in her poetry tend to explore generational relationships among women. She would like to thank the dedicated members of her poetry group for their “right on” critiques and generous support. Susan’s poems have appeared in various journals, including Cream City Review, The Aurorean, The Mom Egg, Sakana, and Lynx Eye.

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Power in this poem, Susan. Discipline, containment, every unsaid thing slipping out through the cracks and around the edges, as is right. Congratulations.
The understatement and controlled tone make the sorrow in this poem all the more powerful.
I agree with the other reviewers--powerful use of understatement combined with use of just the right words make this great! As always, amazing work!
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