Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
This is Not a Pipe / Ceci n’est pas une Pipe

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after La Trahison des Images (1929) by Rene Magritte (1898-1967)


But I remember
how my daughters, each in turn, once sat on my knee,
while I named for them, page after page, all that was not
what I said it was: the red balloon,
the great green room, the house, the mouse,
the star, the night,

And how my daughters grew and learned to speak
and still sat on my knees, pressing crayons to my hands,
directing me to draw in bright untruths
what was not
a dog, a girl, a sun, a yard,
a rainbow arching over all,
a great red heart,

How the pictures, theirs and mine, went up on the walls,
and how it felt
to hold each child, nightly
nestled on my lap,
the weight and warmth of tender bodies
curving into mine,

How sometimes we grew still, and listened,
and sometimes they said, "I can feel
your heart,"
and they did, and it was,
and we all knew
that it was








Jennifer L. Freed’s work has appeared in Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Brain, Child, Common Ground Review, and other publications. Her chapbook, These Hands Still Holding, was a finalist in the 2013 New Women’s Voices contest. When not mothering or writing, she teaches creative writing and tutors ESL, and wishes she had time to read as much as her daughters do.

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