Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Empty House

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The kids are out of the ribcage, string-
broken. At school, perhaps. Taking
a walk. They may be safe.

Perhaps the kids will never return.
Do you wait for them at the kitchen table?
Ladle extra gravy on the mashed potatoes?

You imagine you could find joy,
with or without the kids.

You imagine you were full
to begin with. Never without
purpose. Never sick
with wondering what could happen
while the kids were gone.


Jennifer Givhan’s poetry has appeared online at The Fertile Source, Rattle, and AS US. She also conducts a series of interviews with successful writers who are also mothers on her blog Mother Writers. Givhan lives with her husband, two young children, and her parents in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Please visit Givhan online for more information.


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