Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
For the Daughter I Can’t Have

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you would have been
another beautiful disaster

my body couldn't bear
another still tender scar

I lost my voice
in my son's delivery

now he finds the words I seek

he says: "we are foiled
by the mere being of things"

I know he is my replacement

I dream of you, dandelion girl
what's gone is everywhere


Beth Suter grew up in rural Missouri living close to the land. She studied Environmental Science at U.C. Davis and taught outdoor education for many years. After her son was born it was clear he needed extra support so she decided to stay home and work with him. He has since been treated for sensory processing issues. The first few years of parenting were very intense and her son was her only focus. When he started school, Beth joined a writing group and started trying to articulate her experience of motherhood.

Beth’s work has appeared in The Yolo Crow, The Avocet, The American River Review, Tule Review, and is forthcoming inĀ The Snowy Egret. Beth won first place in the 2013 Ina Coolbrith Poetry Contest (nature category) and was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize. She has been a featured reader at the Sacramento Poetry Center.


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Beth, what an intimate sharing of your feelings, so beautifully wrought onto the page. My daughter has sensory processing disorder too, and I have turned to poetry to help me process it all. I'm happy to have found your poetry here at literary mama.
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