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Mother and Child

ISSUE:  Summer 2010
A bare room, old pink and white paint splotched on the walls, green paint peeling up from the floors. The only object within it is a lone refrigerator. A young child lies on her back on the floor, playing with a naked doll.

Mama, you know a mother’s
supposed to be there when a cry
flies out of her hungry child,

but you are nodding in the corner,
riding your high, the plastic
stained with our blood;

and this baby will learn
to understand the simple
brokenness in all people—

the things we can’t rely on,
the chain of desire, and sweetness,
the high, the high, the high.

Such a terrible lesson for a baby
to learn: the lie of mothering.


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