The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Marjorie Maddox – Poetry

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Marjorie Maddox

 

Regret

I was so tired of stepping in it
until it rose to my ankles, my calves,
clinging to my shins like tar
as I tugged my unshaven limbs
this way and that, so, so tired
of it, my flecks of almost-fur coming
off in the thick grasp of it, so tired
until it rose to my knees, then thighs,
gulping in all things varicose and cellulite,
so, so, so, so until it belched itself higher to my waist,
my breasts, my shoulders, shook with the shimmying
of my spasmic attempt to breathe
the teaspoon of desire I was before I was
so tired with its black oatmeal of muck
rising to the fat line of my lower lip
when I mouthed the first line of it
before I was so tired of stepping in it,
remembering how tired I was
from stepping on it, from stomping it down,
long before it rose over my bare soles,
above my unpainted toes,
so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so.


Winner of America Magazine’s 2019 Foley Poetry Prize, Lock Haven University English Professor Marjorie Maddox has published 11 collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation and True, False, None of the AboveWhat She Was Saying (prose); children’s books; Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor); Presence (assistant editor). See www.marjoriemaddox.com

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