Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Exodus

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      And it is in this, the fourth month of pregnancy, the month I want to cease
   counting my food, want to say, Yea, bring unto me the cheddar cubes
and nougat bars, the sesame chicken and blueberry doughnuts,

      that I know you are here, can hear your heart funneled into the doctor’s
   rooms--it is now I know my body is a radio filled with an old jazz.
O static in my peripheries! O lemon of my lust! You have lost

      from me my language (language of bar tabs, language of singular pronouns)
   and opened instead the kingdom of savings bonds and diaper bags--
the kingdom of fear. Though your days will fill with my refusals,

      I offer unto you eighty percent of my sleeping hours, the last strawberry,
   and change for drugstore chocolate, always. I bequeath to you the eight
hundred and two books I would have read, and, as the seasons

      cycle like hamster wheels, I give to you my acting hopes and California
   reveries--I give you bikini wearing and billboard wishes. And lo,
in return you will offer me credit for your touchdown record

      and thank me in your graduation toast. You will spare me from all places
   called facilities and bury me in a coffin of burnished mahogany.
Soon, you will rend me like a grief, and I will continue

      to drop quarters in my mouth, expecting always a gumball or glass ring
   to tumble out--I want not a great new noise in the world, but an idol
swathed in plastic, a false reward from every open chute.


Bethany Tyler Lee holds a Ph.D in English and Creative Writing from the University of North Texas and currently teaches composition, theatre, business communication, and creative writing at Purdue University North Central. Her work has appeared online in Gulf Stream, Cortland Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and at the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Awards website, among others. She is the mother of a hilarious, quirky, sweet, persnickety 5-year-old boy, with whom she lives in Chesterton, Indiana.


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