Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Rice Noodles

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You love the noodles.
Slurp and grunt above them,
your face a wild moon
above a tide of rice and soy.
Sometimes I correct you
even though you don't call me
mother yet. Tonight, instead,
I lose myself in your graceless
hunger. The chopsticks
in your fingers click and slip
through translucent strands,
grasp and lose, lose again.
My heart says keep going, your
moving hands are beautiful.
My other heart says let me
feed you, let me lift the plate.


Lisa Kerr is an associate professor in the Writing Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her stories and poems have appeared in journals such as Calyx, Phoebe, Yemassee, and Quarterly West. She is also author of a short story collection, Girl vs. Bear (2008) and a poetry chapbook, Read Between the Sheets (2010). She became a mother in 2011 when she and her husband completed an older-child adoption and brought home their teenage son.


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Lisa, the last lines take my breath away. You've really captured that two-hearted tug of an older-child adoption. Mother-pride and mother-longing. A confusion of roles. Priceless.
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