Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The Cold Feel of the Forks and Knives

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I get my news in the morning and it's
all in the sound of the cutlery. How
will he handle it? He's up first and opens
our day. Opens the cupboards,
stacks the plates. If there is any roughness
he's hurried; if there is any water
in the wine glass, he'll tip it out. Don't
worry. Things will get easier, he'll
remind me again. My son's cup is plastic (I hear
him throw it to the floor). But he's old
enough now to handle glass. We need
to let him get his hands on things he might break.
Even me. The cold feel of the forks
and knives is something I don't want
to think about. Sometimes I'm afraid
of what comes next. So I listen to him
empty the dishwasher. It's a wonder:
some people are not sad. How is it
I'm married to deft and deliberate
most days? He's pouring coffee now.
He's on the stairs with our third child
and coming in to wake me up.

Shannon Bramer is a poet and playwright. Her fourth book of poetry, Precious Energy, is forthcoming from BookThug in September 2017. A full production of her most recent play, The Hungriest Woman in the World, will be presented in Toronto in December. She has three children aged 2, 9 and 12.

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