The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood
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Poetry by Lisa J. Cihlar

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Gluttony Moves In to Stay

The mother worries and hovers, pecking things.
Brings a slimming duvet, toes to nose. Daughter’s
eyes skitter, blink Morse code: what did you bring?
What is she hungry for? What does she want?
Siblings and neighbors ask through a cracked door.
Answer: Whole birds, wheat fields of bread, fruit, ripe
to rotten, fish, smoked, other-world crimson.
Daughter sneaks things to eat, pens to scribble.
Writes her autobiography on tissue paper, used
napkins, paper plates. Soon burned by the keepers
in rusty barrels. Fire eternal, high flame, smolders
peaty earth. Pop psychology, short for popular
always on the TV, volume high, Dr. Phil,
families just like yours. Constant hunger blazes.
She wants to eat mothers and brothers. Pick her
teeth with a shard of elephant tusk or abalone.
Suck marrow, gnaw kneecaps, toss bones
to backyard where cats prowl past grease smeared
windows. No one comes to visit any more,
there is never enough to share, and she bites –

          — Lisa J. Cihlar

Emerging: Day Lily & Cope’s Gray Tree Frog, by Lisa Cihlar


Lisa J. Cihlar’s poems have appeared in BlackbirdGargoyle Magazine, and Mid-American Review.  Her three chapbooks are The Insomniac’s House from Dancing Girl Press, This is How She Fails from Crisis Chronicles Press, and When I Pick Up My Wings from the Dry Cleaner from Blue Light Press. Her fourth chapbook, Before the Next Ice Age, from Crisis Chronicles Press will be out in the summer of 3017.  She enjoyed guest teaching in Patricia Brody’s Poetry class. The students were delightful. And it was a revelation to revisit some of her older poems and still like them.

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