Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Two poems by Gabriella Belfiglio

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Before We Get Any Closer

I love the wild flowers on the side of the road,
they are me, I am them.
Forgotten.
Misplaced.
Beautiful.
Something unplanned for.
My mother almost had an abortion.
Instead, she had me
got her tubes tied afterward.
I am forty and can’t seem to have a live child.
One died as it was coming out of me,
another at nine and a half weeks,
on the day of my godson’s birthday.
I don’t mean to tell such sad stories.
I am tipsy. It is day four of my period.
I dream of fleeing myself.
Appearing someplace where having a child
would not be as important as it is now.
There’s no such place,
I want to be twenty years younger
and still know most of what I know.
Everything can be used
at least twice.
Take this poem
cut the fuck out of it:
create something positive.

Between Us

At the Christmas party
you pulled a highchair
between our seats.
All night, your sticky baby
fingered my spoon
and water glass and bread
and earlobe and barrette
—anything her hands
could get a hold of.
It didn’t bother me one bit.

It didn’t bother me
when you snapped the bib
I decorated at your baby shower
to her wobbly neck.
I painted grapes and cherries
and what was supposed to be a banana
but looked more like a moon.
I remember the picture someone took,
of us together that day—
two competing bellies
bulging with growing babies.

Between bites of ravioli
you complained
about sleep deprivation,
and how you miss going to yoga.
You compared car seats and strollers
with other parents across the table.
One complimented you
about how fast you were getting
your figure back.
It didn’t bother me one bit.

And it didn’t bother me
when you handed over your baby
while you ate your tiramisu.
I took her and spun around the dining room
to Stevie Wonder ooohing.
I smiled—hummed above
the bumblebee fuzz of her head.

I haven’t walked past
that restaurant since.
I take long detours—around
that fucking empty highchair.


Gabriella M. Belfiglio is a teacher and artist who lives in Brooklyn, NY. For more information including a list of published work, visit her website.


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Gorgeous! A punch to the gut. Crying!
So Raw, so beautiful.. so real! <3
heart wrenchingingly beautiful
Beautifully real and honest. I have places that I don't go by for other reasons. Thank you for sharing your avoided path.
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