Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Unsolicited Advice to a Facebook Mom


Stop plastering the site with photos
of your strapping boy on the cliff
of manhood, pitching a no-hitter,
practicing guitar;

don’t publicize his tuxedo’d beauty
posing with his prom date,
or family jaunts to look at colleges for the fall.

Better to shield him from happenstance,
mistaken identity, the evil eye;
protect him from what you won’t imagine:
a drive-by
a street race
an overdose
a dare.

Pass an egg above his body while he’s sleeping.
Make the mano fico over him with your fist.
Sew small mirrors into his clothes to reflect misfortune.
Tie a red string around his wildness.

When someone gives him a compliment, spit over your shoulder three times.
Then touch wood.

Stop flaunting your boy’s shining face,
his sweetness, how he still
lets you kiss him goodnight.

Listen to me:
Like you, I was once besotted.

Don’t tempt the gods.

Alexis Rhone Fancher is the author of How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen and other heartstab poems, and State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies. Find her poems in Best American Poetry 2016, Rattle, The MacGuffin, Slipstream, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles, Chiron Review, Hobart, and elsewhere. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.

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Good advice to all Mamas--if only such desperate magics worked! That last line punches hard.
This gets into my bones
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