Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Week Forty-One

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The house empties,
its lungs heave,
air seeps from spaces we were supposed to fill.
This unfolding of an absence,
slow in the way morning slips
through the skylight, cradles my body.

I lift the blanket, see how the swell's softened.

Somewhere, there's another house
in which I'm not waking
to the burnt smell of the woodstove,
the afghan folded over its embroidered name.
There, I'm not staring at the rocker swearing
it's swayed, as though that lost version of myself
just sat down to quiet the new child's cries.

Michelle Tooker lives and writes in Philadelphia. She is mom to a happy little boy and is also an avid traveler who has been to 39 countries and hopes to visit 100. Her work has appeared in Asia Literary Review, Foundling Review, Gargoyle, Ruminate and others.

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