Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

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The hibiscus blooms in red torrents
and the sable palms tremble over the saw
palmettos, squat as pineapples against
the green link fence between the tennis courts
and the lounges arranged around the pool.

Here you are, my father, in your floppy,
brimmed hat, in the poured concrete amoeba
dividing cell by cell into its shapely offspring.

Your granddaughter, floating in your orbit,
looks toward me. Her face is a hibiscus,
reddened from the sun, reflecting
your kindred smiling from its center.

Optimism, cheerfulness, delight—these
have always lived in you, as modus
operandi (I once thought you coined that phrase):
happiness matters, like breakfast
on the table.

Pair of blooms on blue water,
separated by a generation—I suspect that I
am a spurious link in the chain,
she who opens her arms to the single hibiscus
and its jungle—where everything else
in the world may happen.

Cheryl Anne Latuner is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Soon They Will Fly—A Meditation at Fitzgerald Lake, and The Ballad of Sackman Street; and a memoir: Baby at My Breast—Reflections of a Nursing Mother. Her poems have appeared in The Comstock ReviewThe Spoon River Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, and The Blue Lyra Review, among other journals. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and is the mother of a daughter who is a sophomore at Connecticut College. She teaches literature at a Waldorf high school.

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