I mother

by Megan Williams 



so hard my mouth fills in sleep with blood

          worrying the blisters

forcing myself through fish-markets

          that glow with silver headlights

illuminating a body in the field


I mother it, too, 

          the skull fragments recollected

brain matter spooned back in

          wildflowers painted white

while a molting bird circles above us

          cawing Mother, mother


How badly I want to nourish 

          every living thing

gut fish for fish 

          mother every other mother

even when I am still

          baby teeth

sucking honey from weeds

          cupping every wasp 

to a cask of sugar-water

          shivering fingers through 

cornsilk and cattails

          holding a hand to my stomach

and dreaming a baby 

          back into my body


I mother so much

          that god unmakes me for motherhood

takes my only one before her teeth

          even form

makes the first the last

          and refracts her through headlights

so that I hope for car-wrecks

          my baby flashing briefly before my eyes

until I approach all roadkill

          clutch bloodied pelts to my chest

and think their bodies can be 

          loved back to life

if I, Mother, mother hard enough. 



This poem first appeared in The Pitt News.

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