Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Smock

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Beneath the red smock she wore like a gown
two hearts beat. Hidden. Only she could say
what secret she carried to that far town.

Eighteen, alone, she moved toward the unknown,
her child, concealed, growing in her each day
beneath the red smock she wore like a gown.

Sapphire eyes blazed, she wore love like a crown,
danced with abandon at the prom in May.
Then away she slipped to the college town.

Thanksgiving, home, brothers teased how she'd grown!
What had she eaten? How much did she weigh
in the big red smock she wore like a gown?

She knew that we reap whatever we've sown.
To Mary she genuflected and prayed
for her secret in the faraway town.

She kissed her baby, then gave her away--
a story her children never have known.
Two hearts beneath a red smock like a gown;
she left one behind in that far town.


Catherine Young writes in Wisconsin. After having worked as a National Park ranger, teacher, farmer, and mother, she completed her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Catherine’s work has appeared in Imagination & Place: Cartography, Anamesa, About Place, Aqueous, Feile-Festa, and Cricket. Currently, she is seeking a publisher for her landscape memoir of coal country. Listen to recordings of Catherine’s work at WDRT Catherine Young.


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