Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Daughter (Dis)Connected


I huff into her room, hackles
raised, determined
to confiscate
that damned device, but
she smiles, pats her bed.
I stretch out beside her, slump
into her pillow, a puff
of strawberries and sweat. "Look,"
she says, head turned
toward the window. Together
we gaze, two birds nestled
at the breast of towering
trees, feasting on fiery fruit
swimming in syrup. Limbs sprout,
branches fork cotton candy
stretched by sticky fingers, a sliver
of moon skewered. I stroke
her forehead, smooth
her hair, cradle
deep into soft down.
Sixty seconds, sixteen years.
A kiss on my cheek. "Mama?"
She presses
into my palm
the cold curse.
"Will you plug this in?
It's dead."

Kristin Bartley Lenz‘s debut young adult novel, The Art of Holding On and Letting Go, was a 2016 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2017–2018 Great Lakes Great Books Award honor book. Her fiction, essays, and articles have been published by Hunger Mountain, Great Lakes Review, The ALAN Review, and Writer’s Digest. She’s also a social worker and lives in Metro-Detroit with her husband and teen daughter. Learn more at

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Beautiful, truthful, sweet poem!
Reading this the morning after my first daughther's sixteenth birthday! Beautiful, thank you
Lovely and funny too. Very nice.
Thanks for the kind comments - glad my poem resonated! And thank you Literary Mama editors for publishing my work!
Lovely images! And so relatable!
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