Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Plain Bracelets

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I know already what a disappointment
we will be to one another.

Hasn't that story been told often enough?
Too much love, or not enough:

The wrong love anyway, that molds
one in the other's image when it isn't

rejecting what it sees of itself
in the other's pan of dark water.

Do you like the bracelets, Mommy?
she asks. Four thin bangles of brass

and oxblood enamel. I thought
about it for a long time
, she tells me

I bought the plainest ones.
Because you like plain things.

I do. I do. I do. I tell her
back. I think of all the plain things

I love. A room without music.
A fresh flat duvet laid on the bed.

An unset table. I put the bracelets
in their box. They jangle

In the cotton nest. I love them
I tell her. I will wear them tomorrow.


Elizabeth Sylvia is an English teacher and the mother of two delightful daughters living in southeastern Massachusetts. This is her first published poem and she is pretty excited about it.


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I love this poem. So spare, so full. Lovely.