Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The Misery of Parenthood

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(for Philip Larkin)

It festered not in the solitude of endless carpools,
it abounded not on the raucous sidelines of soccer games.
It lay not in the bottomless lunch boxes demanding novelty
nor lurked in the grim fairy tales that threatened to gobble up dreams.
It permeated not through the perpetual wetness of a crib
nor suffused the frigid valley of lost hats, mittens and jackets.
Doctor's visits, pending homework assignments, and a litany
of piano and dance lessons had not corroded our insides.

What gnawed away was the suspicion that the worst in us
was preserved in pristine dormancy in these whole other beings.
We'd repeated the mistakes our progenitors had made before us,
unkept our avowals and squandered our numerous redemptions.
The cruel promise of procreation had seemed the summation of it all.
And yet, we'd often ask, from where came all the goodness in them?

Preeti Parikh is a poet and essayist whose work has appeared in Mom Egg Review, For a Better World 2017, Cincinnati Walking Sonnet Project, and elsewhere. Born and raised in India, she has previously worked as a radiologist and is presently a stay-at-home parent to her two young children. Currently living in Ohio, Preeti has pursued her study of poetry through the AWP Writer-to-Writer Mentorship Program, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Stanford Continuing Studies, and other workshops. She is also newly enrolled in a low-res MFA program set to begin in Summer 2018.

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