Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Two poems

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Two Truths and a Lie

It’s a game we play – my daughters
and me. The littlest doesn’t get it.

I want cake. I want cake.
I want cake, she says, and she does.

The big one goes to school on the moon.
I’m a fake, I say. I’m a fake. I’m a fake!!!

We laugh and quake. Cheerios line
the counter like stars. I try to find

comfort on this planet where:
If you wipe up enough spilled milk

you become one who wipes up milk.

In the Country

Even in the city, it sounded like we were living
in a topiary: me with my pink uterus, she with hers.

At least the doctor let me keep my feet, I say.
He didn’t, the tree says. I look down, embarrassed.

Sober nights, I read up on child-rearing.
If only I could teach my girls to name their pain.

Mine is more of an emptiness, I say.
It only appears that way, the tree says. I eat cake.

And my girls, I let them eat cake too.
Women with kale bring bushels of apples.

We can sit under the tree, I say.
And we do. And the tree is silent. And I am too.


Nicole Callihan‘s poems, stories, and essays have appeared in The L Magazine, Painted Bride Quarterly, the North American Review, and Ohio Edit. She lives in Brooklyn and Connecticut with her husband and daughters.


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