Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Boy’s First March

One comment

This spring, things become seen, the invisibles: insensible and unperceived. While perceiving sensibly, I found him with a daffodil in his mouth. Not the bulb; the green, leafy part, and that was easy. It's the unseen that terrifies me (droplets of raw egg white on the kitchen countertop, the skillet handle, hand towel. Little meanies where I can't see). There are those I know: after winter and the white come the brown and green, the mudded teddy on my front lawn and the dead, dead squirrel trapped in the chain link fence. Oh! And that daffodil. The bulbs are the only toxic part (and then, only if you eat five. And only then if you're a horse. We've only data on horses and bulbs, so I think your little one should be fine). Call if he stops breathing. Look, it all turned out ok, we're all ok, everyone is not sick. A slippery body in my big adult hands, a waist as big as my grip. And at the chain-link fence: "Look, son, there's death," sensible and perceived. But then Bob, the neighborhood cat, licking at it. For three days. And the children, the neighborhood children, with their unzipped zippers, ruddied cheeks and yellow eyes, knock on my door asking, asking directly, "Have you seen him? Have you seen Bob?"

Kristin Engen’s poems have appeared in RHINO, Cream City Review, and Notre Dame Review. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son, and one in utero.

More from

Comments are now closed for this piece.