The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood
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Happy Birthday by Linda Umans

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Drunk and depressed twenty-five or so, waiting at bus stop,
Cyclone behind me. Wanted to turn and ride but too self-conscious,
even drunk. A pity.

                   I loved this brain-rattling roller coaster this gravity train the slams
and turns and twists and whips like slaps.

                   I preferred the skull-shaking first car when I could get it.

                               Once Paul and loopy I plus his friend and pale green
girlfriend were crossing the street when a car starts
backing up. He pulls me out of the way saying there’s
a Chinese saying if you save someone’s life you are
responsible for them forever. He might’ve wanted that.
Last I saw he was rooted, but looked sad.

                               I was a dream out, I think.

Could do it now.

                      74 year old lone woman in old jeans and red panda red baseball cap
pays admission  (9 dollars?! WTF!)  and gets in the first car.

                              Ma’am, you might want to sit further back.
                                          I’m not Ma’am and I take full responsibility.

I lean back, hear the cranks and creaks of people getting settled.                                                                                                                                                                                        The train revs up.   And     I     am     fine     and     when
we     reach     START          I have come to my senses.
I am shaken and stirred—an incorrect double martini.

And this time there’s a poem.


Linda Umans enjoyed a long teaching career in the public schools of New York City where she lives, studies, writes. Recent publications include poems in Terrain.org, The Broome Street Review, DIALOGIST, Switched-on Gutenberg, Spillway,Composite {Arts Magazine}, Spiral Orb, The Ghazal Page, A Narrow Fellow, Ladowich, and pieces in Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood.

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