Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Nesting Dolls

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1) Mother was a venus figurine in her youth. Those rampant sex parts got her filled, then receded.

Now she’s full, a vessel with a passel, a birch marsupial. Promoted, demoted, children are boring miracles. Their fathers ran off but she got a face and some clothes. No limbs.

The children echo her growth rings. Each that she was, she still is within, a mama diorama through time. She straightens her blood red apron, turns back to the cookfire.

2) Miss—There’s barely room for her curvy warp between the mother barrel and straight-sided Girl. Miss hates her mother’s house. If she gets a chance, she’ll roll off and do something better. She’s not sure what’s better.

3) Girl—On her report card, the teacher wrote: Works hard. Clever. Obedient. Excellent posture.

4) Little girl—Twirls in the cold sun, a ballerina, a tornado.

5) Baby girl—Love me or I’ll die.


Carly Berg‘s nest is between Houston and the deep blue sea. She has a husband and two grown sons.


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