Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Cucumbers, Red Onions, Vinegar—

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How much sugar did Mom add?
Celery seed. I’m missing celery seed.
A snowstorm blows outside my window;
my eyes water, I stir onions and loss.

Celery seed. I’m missing celery seed.
What more could I have said to the woman
with cancer in the coffee shop?
Do you have people helping you?

What more could I have said besides,
How are your daughters faring?
Ten years since Mom made me dinner,
why summon this simple recipe now?

How are my daughters faring?
Like shit. They’re scared I’m dying.
I miss appointments because I can’t afford a sitter.
She walked out into snow and her ride home.

They’re scared I’m dying. All last summer
I woke with joy and dread, a second daughter
twisting inside, and the knot of knowing
goodness is tenuous; there’s always much to lose—

How much sugar did Mom add?
A snowstorm blows outside my window.

 


Mercedes O’Leary earned her MFA from New England College, with an emphasis in poetry. She is the recipient of the Lois Cranston Poetry Prize from Calyx Press, and her chapbook, Flutter to the Light, was a semi-finalist for the 2014 Concrete Wolf competition.  Her poetry and reviews have appeared in Web Del Sol Review of Books, The Mindful Word, Great River Review, and are forthcoming in Anthem Journal. She lives in Homer, Alaska.


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