Just Two Weeks



Listen to a reading of “Just Two Weeks”:

I stand here before you
in my mother’s hand-me-downs,
in this world where mothers must work like they don’t have children
and parent like they don’t have jobs,
keeping households running and bills paid
while their hearts run around outside their bodies
on tiny little legs that don’t yet know where the wolves are,
but don’t you dare over-mother them,
or under-mother them,
or get anything wrong while treading laundry
and kung fuing the kitchen
and, oh yeah,
if you could save the world from nuclear armageddon
and environmental collapse when you get a minute
that’d be great.

I stand here before you
in my mother’s hand-me-downs,
with my mother’s strangled voice,
and my mother’s Pinesol hands,
and my mother’s weeping back,
and my mother’s feral chores,
and my mother’s loving patience,
and my mother’s gritted teeth,
and my mother’s inner beauty
that you never get to see —
her inner world of unheard symphonies
and unpainted art
and oceans of sleeping babies,
neatly stuffed into a housecoat
drowned out by a Helen Reddy song.

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