Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Call and Response

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We're canoeing the Boundary Waters
in northern Minnesota, my daughter
in the stern, a nautical map
open on her knees. She steers us
towards the east end of the lake
while I watch for danger
from the bow. I'm good at this.
Boulders! I shout. Fallen tree!
She avoids boulders and trees,
gets us to the portage at Parent Lake,
slick with mud from yesterday's
downpour. I hoist on my pack
and keep my eyes on the path,
looking for roots, slippery,
the unsteady stones. Red flag
of hair escaping her bandana,
Abby carries our canoe
upside-down on her shoulders.
Beaked hazel, she calls back to me.
Bunchberry. Spotted coralroot.


Note: This poem will appear in Wendy's new manuscript, Dinner for Emerson, forthcoming from Tiger Bark Press.

Wendy Mnookin’s most recent book of poetry is The Moon Makes Its Own Plea. Wendy and her husband live in Newton, Massachusetts, where they raised their three children. Now they’re enjoying three young grandchildren.

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