Learning to be Away



Our ears are always busy, us mother bees, us women.

We mothers who also step out for work–

slinky foxes who actually get a date

daring your child to not need you for two minutes or more.

Preoccupy, throw a dart of distraction clumsy as a tin can

while all the while,

he smells you, knows your milk. post3


For us, stepping out is disharmony on reverb.

See, it’s like this:

He is crying five blocks over

Three intersections from your padding pulling steps,

whole blocks and maybe zip codes away but intense.


You hear his voice.

Oh, why is no one else grabbing at their forehead, wincing?


Walkers stride by,

aloof,  because he is not their boy.

He is not their heartstrings, tendons, main veins

being grabbed

by their very most primal emotions.


(This is all very much invisible work, except to us

ladies in the same boat.

I am the spectacle at this stage.

I am the getting-back-in-the-groove-woman-in-heels, pushing daughter

in the stroller, tilting back that condensed-sweet-milk coffee

as we push on).


Imagine teeth cutting over sidewalks

Eyes hungry over buildings

and impeding branches, the way they impair infant & toddler vision.

This is me seeing with his vision, putting myself in his baby


Our ears ring out.


We are ever expecting, hungering for hugs,

poems from even

the most lilting, tilting of days.


It’s our birth story,

mom & babies growing apart and together.

Both of us working and coming back.

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