The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood
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Happiness in fourteen lines, flawless, by Britta R. Kollberg

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An exercise on Psalm 119

I am truly blameless. Or happy. Or neither one.
Deep at night, I sit in the shadow
of my own verses
the furrows I tread with my mouth
sheltering saplings that might never grow
into a real oak or a maple dripping with syrup…

The furrows get sticky, holding
my knees and ankles— I need to grow
new soil, massage the crumbs
with my fingers, a sapling of earth itself
that will carry dark, heavy fruit, moist with questions,
a different source of food
for my busy tongue, treading the lines between
time and dawn.


brkollberg-xBritta R. Kollberg, born in Berlin, graduate of the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Bar Ilan University, has worked as a graduate mathematician in East Germany, and in education, advocacy, and social services after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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