Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Week 20

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Halfway through the pregnancy, a super-blood-moon eclipsed
my Sunday night blues. By 10 p.m., the entire neighborhood
had ascended to their rooftops to watch the sky,
and we were a different animal up there together, reverent
as we slid between shadows, and shameless, squinting
like children into white light. After the darkening, a deep ember
set in; Juan hunted down binoculars and I closed
my blinder eye to search through clouds until
I had centered the radiance in my view.

Black oceans and shores of fire.

At that moment, the sun, earth and moon were aligned
and my mother was dying and you were blooming
unapologetically and the Pope was in town and Yom Kippur
and Eid al-Adha had just ended and the leaves were turning
and all around me, people were protecting the sacred,
even the hipsters howling on their knees, and I let in
the thought that knocked.


The next morning, when your kicks were more insistent,
I knew I was finally learning to lean into the darkness.
I will practice sounding out your names.

Coriel O’Shea Gaffney has an MFA from the City College of New York, where she received the Jerome Lowell Dejur Award in Poetry and CCNY Teacher-Writer Award. She works as a staff writer in the NYC Mayor’s Office and hosts occasional retreats combining movement and writing. Publications include: Elephant Journal, Lyre Lyre, Union Station Magazine, Manifest-Station, Vision through Words, Promethean, and Scapegoat Review.

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