Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Mother Trucker

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My son screeches at his video game
on the way to football practice,

Mother trucker!

What's the big deal? he asks,
I'm not saying 'fucker.'

He has a point. They're just words,
I used to tell my mother
when she yelled,
I should wash your mouth with soap!

I'm mother trucking down
a real highway to Hell,
bumper to bumper,
horns blaring—

Dammit, he head-shotted me!
Desmond yells at his Fortnite Hell,

as bicycles whir by
my bird-shat window,

and afternoon traffic
and motherhood
head-shot me.

Should I turn left,
on Lenient Lane,
or make a sharp right,
on Rigid Road?

I got three kills!

I scowl in my rearview mirror,
as he tries to head off judgment,

Don't worry…there's no blood,

and I wonder if I missed a short-cut.

Just one more round…
I'll go to tilted towers and die…

Should I veer left
or make a U-turn at Unplug Way?

Mother trucker!

When traffic stops,
and I slam on the brakes—

Mom, you made me die!

His words whiplash,
like a rear-ending bus,
I'm trucking him up—

in Fortnite, he reassures,
not real life.

Some other mother in a Porsche Cayenne,
breezes by and cuts me off.

Mother trucker! I yell

Mom, really? She looks nice.

She probably doesn't allow her kids
to play video games,
I say,

as if I could bypass the hazards,
or navigate away
from the same dead end,

or reach max level
in the Motherhood Game,

where it's not
the trucking mother's fault.


Chanel Brenner is the author of Vanilla Milk: a memoir told in poems, (Silver Birch Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the 2016 Independent Book Awards and honorable mention in the 2014 Eric Hoffer awards. Her poems have appeared in New Ohio Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, Muzzle Magazine, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Spry Literary Journal, Barrow Street, Salamander, Spoon River Poetry Review, and others. Her poem, “July 28th, 2012” won first prize in The Write Place At the Write Time’s contest, judged by Ellen Bass. In 2018, she was nominated for a Best of the Net.


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