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Today I Feel Lifted and Better

ISSUE:  Spring 2021


in only a few places do the birds sing without a chorus of gunfire

—Patricia Spears Jones 

Tell me you’re that somebody
who gets pregnant after living one month in an orphanage. 
Tell me you’re the one who has your baby a year later 
and watches him nurse while you tighten and release 
your deepest muscles, already trying to fit back into some idea 
of what you should be. I really need somebody. 
                                                                                          I watch Celia 
for hours and hours, and for ages it is just baby and Celia and me.

Mami no, she says, Mami please,
and I watch her mother lie for her and work for her 
and tell her to follow her dreams as I wish my baby to sleep.

I carry him up into a cave.
I pray for the willingness to remember I am a child of God 
and that nothing real can be threatened. 
In one drop of milk I see all the other mothers 
and how they love their babies 
just as much and just as little as I do mine. 



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