Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The New Normal: Wildfires

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late summer in the city
the block is hot
and fires are everywhere.

a possum has chewed the head
off one of our hens, sitting
on her newly hatched chicks.

it was us who did not
lock the door
who let the danger in.

stay in your homes
blares a police helicopter circling
circling overhead.

where do we go from here?
i think furtively
as my four year old, flushed and worried,
steals glances at my mood.

where do we go from here?

the possom mother
nursing her young
the killers
we all are
the dead chicken
no solace to
her brood
my four year old
cradling an orphaned chick
and singing
in the hot
dead afternoon

stay in your homes
blares the voice
from the sky

he's thirsty, mama
my four year old says
and my eyes fall down to his face,
looking up at me.
i nod, stand, and go fetch
a small plastic bowl
filled with water.


Carolyn Norr lives with her large extended family in Oakland, CA, where she works with young people on poetry and climate activism, two different versions of telling the truth. Her poems can mostly be found in classrooms and community centers, but have also appeared in journals including: Apeiron Review, Writers Resist, Rise Up Review, Bay Nature, and the CD anthology Oakland Has Spoken.


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