Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
36 Weeks


You are still a secret.
I will take you to the Atlantic first, to the island
where I was born, and dip you in the salt
like a delicious thing.
Call you jelly bean and darling,
call you flower names and nonsense.
Wonder at your fingers, their dimpled knuckles, wonder
at your eyes and how they will change
like the sea under sunlight.
Teach you things my mother taught me:
names of seaweed, how to look into a tide pool, how to make
blackberry pancakes. Tuck you into
a clam hod, abscond with you on a boat
the way my father did with me.
My talisman, come with me
as I step into my next, longest life.
Your cheeks will chap with sun and wind, salt will tangle
our hair. I will sing legends of foundlings;
I am half-Selchie at the helm and you are my prize
until we reach land
and wash ourselves clean and turn
human again. You are still a secret.

Genevra MacPhail writes fiction, poetry, essays, and plays. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts, studying fiction, and has also spent many years performing in and producing theater. Her work has been published in Pine Street Poets, Art Map Burlington, and at The Wrath-Bearing Tree. She lives in Burlington, Vermont with her husband and daughter.

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Wow, G. That is incredible. You have so much literary talent. What an honor to be your Auntie.
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