Poems & Essays

24 Aug

Vessel

Toddlers to Teens No Response

Mother is another name for ​Hold this

A hungry fisted baby
A red-wrought toddler
A pocket of treasures
that can’t jump on the trampoline
Or go into the bath

She holds acorns, lucky beans, half licked sweets, a dead butterfly, a precious rock, damp socks

And once the dried out husk of a lizard

Her tissue paper belly holds the imprints of tiny bodies once hers alone
Her blood all the memories her children shed before they left
Her body is the kitchen drawer where we put things that have no other space

Mom watch me.
Are you listening to me?
Here, come with me, quickly Mom!

Hold THIS​ she says to herself
A warm little body in her bed
A rush of hugs in the morning
Kitchen dance parties and bedtime stories

Hold it all before she holds their angry independence
And the moment they see she is not steel and fire

She will hold this disappointment too
With lightened fingers
An offering not a curse

Louella Sullivan is a mom, English teacher and Pilates instructor. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes in 2014. Her poems, described as “poised and vivid”, have appeared in Aerodrome, New Contrast, New Coin and Itch. In 2017, her first poetry collection “Salt” was published. It was hailed as “a delicately woven account of pregnancy and birth.” She is presently working on a second book and dreaming of a PhD.

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