The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood
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Stretch Marks by Marva Zohar

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my sister and I got them
just from growing
our thighs and breasts marked as if by tiger claws
first they were bright red then with years
faded to silver moonlight
someone said it was because we were fed too much soy
and milk with hormones
it made us grow too fast
and not enough vitamins to flex the skin

but I knew either way becoming a woman
daughters of a woman who couldn’t teach us how
to use a menstrual pad
because she was too afraid of her own blood

now in a rice field I hear women humming
ever so softly
hardly loud enough to tickle the saliva between their lips
they are many
so the humming rises
like the buzz of a generation of bees about to take flight
on the first day of spring

I know their song
is the song that played on the radio
on the last day we were free to live
in our own skin

 


Marva ZoharMarva Zohar is a poet, homebirth midwife, and feminist activist. She is currently living in Jaffa, where she trains holistic gynecology practitioners. She is now completing her MFA from Bar-Ilan University with a focus in documentary poetry about gender-based violence. She is the winner of the Andrea Moriah Memorial Prize in Poetry. More of her work can be found in publications such as The Ilanot Review, Gag, Ynet,  Midwifery Today Magazine, Brick Plight press, Lavender Review, Tule Review, You are not born woman – An Anthology, and in translation to French in terre a cial.

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