Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
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1. My First Magic Hat

Slick cards stick to honey stains,
her hair escapes from the felt's black brim.

Tap a penny, make it spin,
wave the wand and blond
waves of hair spiral away.

I am not good at this.

I dream of opening doors,
knobs coming off in my hand.

Imaginary daughters do not come in.

Conjuring a knuckle and a dove,
I elbow air.

An arrow:

Somewhere
I made something disappear.

2. Playing Mother

I hear little girls
in the gravel.

I see the milk,
the doll hair, rubber
limbs, experiments.

I held her elbow
undressed, cut her hair
to a stub, a broom swept
down to its roots.

Things don't grow back.

3. She Had an Accident

In a plastic bag with a great big tag
she had an accident an incident

Announced in thick black magic
marker letters headlines to the world

She had an accident and soiled
the twist tie at the top of the plastic
magic she had an incident and threads

Frayed from her mouth she spat bloody
gauze from the holes in her jaw she had
an accident and now her soiled gauze

Clothes must be tied and twisted into a sack
of accident she had big black letters all over
her mouth from the holes in her neck she twisted

Her mind around the bottle of blood and percocet she
had an accident that no one no matter how
much they shout or wash and water it will never


Patricia Anne Simpson’s poems have appeared in Calliope, Traffic Report, and the Squaw Valley Review. A scholar and librettist, she lives in Bozeman, Montana, with her husband and two sons.


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A profound, gorgeous poem. "I elbow air" will remain with me. Thank you for sharing this piece with the world.
I too enjoyed the poems but I wonder why you have them grouped together as the 1,2,3 and not separately with each subtitle as its own title?
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