Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

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With sticky palms to the ceiling
he offers you an old baby doll, its
yarn hair limp and eyes set back,
"Don't cry, mama."
The lawyer says it's been "interrupted,"
like a phone call you make
on a Saturday to your sister,
as if after a pause, it will continue.
But this so-called interruption
is a wall, not a whisper, two
thousand miles deep and wide,
it favors recall, reclamation.
This interruption calls this sweet girl home
and you bring her there, flying
miles above earth you crossed just days ago,
her tiny body wrapped tightly to your chest.
Her soft black hair peeks out above
the fabric as it unravels, loosens and
releases her to that first mother,
the one who decides you're no longer the second.
And in that one handing-over,
you see years disappear,
the brushing of hair and the drying of tears,
the bond of forever undone.

Cristi Donoso Best is a foster mother and pediatric speech-language pathologist. Her poetry has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Gravel, and Mothers Always Write, as well as on She dedicates this poem to a dear friend: a mother who exemplifies courage, mercy, and selfless love.

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