Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Birthday Cake

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In the pantry, jars in a row—
rapadura, unbleached flour,
white rice seems
to squirm up the glass.

To my inner edges,
one child clings
tight.

On the counter, mortar and pestle—
halves of one, they split the seeds,
pull fragrant
oil from husk.

Her cells were mine,
not mine:
In me.

At the table, the napkins are folded—
and each knife strains under the edge of
its plate
as it should.

My heart blooms, warm
oil
in cool milk.

In my hand, the smooth brown eggs—
I crack them on the metal dish,
and watch
each yolk slide.

She curled like smoke
inside,
then out.

In her mouth, the butter melts—
becomes her body, once shared,
this child
grows— her own.

I will let her go.
I have to
let go.


Amanda Niehaus is a biologist and writer living in Brisbane, Australia. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, AGNI, and Overland, among others, won the 2017 VU Short Story Prize, and was selected for the 2017 Best Australian Essays anthology.  She is the mother of a phenomenal 10 year old daughter.


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Just beautiful! Thanks.
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