Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood


I ate this, didn’t eat
that, recited mantra

sat in sukhasana, soaked
red nettles and yellow dock

to make my earth rich.
That was the easy part.

Who are you?
A mother should know.

I don’t, I swear. I know
things about you but

these are just things
I could pack into a box:

tiny socks, Magic cards,
whelk-white teeth I kept

like wampum. But you
who sail rooftops

and smell like cinnamon,
who are you? One day

your cells split and drifted
off into a foreign self,

a thunder, a sovereign acre,
magnificent, blizzarding.

Marietta Brill’s poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in Brain,Child, The Rumpus, Full Grown People, Hyperallergic, and The Conversant, among other places. You can read her irregular cooking blog, Swinging In the Kitchen. With her teenage son leaving for college any minute, she and her husband are madly hoarding Kleenex and comfort food.

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I'm sending this to my dear friend in Australia. She has a son Jack's age who is traveling Western Europe with his mates before they go into university next year.
The best thing I can imagine! Thank you Jean.
I too have tiny white teeth and socks we put on Graham's tiny a box! Just breathtaking, Marietta. Your poem is tugging at all the emotions that matter to me. Thank you so much for sharing this. xoox (Tissue box where are you?!!!) Janet
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