The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Rebecca Hart Olander – Poetry

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Rebecca Hart Olander

Dysmorphia

I’ve been a Super-8 movie
camera in a pond trying to
film my confidence, a wife,
and a conversation full of
silences. My job was to make
things up. I have proof.
Home: butter, salt, mirrors,
a corset. Four different kinds
of heartbreaking. I know
where everything is: children,
dust mites, poetry projects.
A rusted-out childhood,
small, changed and never
recovered. Wild strawberries.
Little buckskin jacket. Book of
cats. My dad, favorite cowboy,
scared of dying. A struggle to
read this enemy climbing under
the same roof. The annexed
answer: we love too much
to choose. The scientific
answer: sometime this winter.
The honest answer: forever.

 

Daily

I wake ravenous, each morning an egg to tap and peel, bits of shell
rinsed loose under the cold water of day. A lot of pepper, a little salt.

Once cracked, the day runs away, over-easy into a triangle of rye,
and I let it soak and seep into whatever slices I’ve cut to fill myself.

Lunch a sack of leftovers, happy to relive the nights before, and be released
from the task of their making. Happy to take in again what I already loved.

I’m sorry, but I find dinner a grind, to start again with measuring and chopping,
before that shopping, and all that washing and patting dry to eradicate the dirt.

Night, my domain, when I can keep pushing into the darkness to find more
minutes, everyone else tucked into REM sleep, dreaming away their stresses.

It may be true that time waits for no man, but woman that I am, every day
I push against what halts, try arresting the tide to have with it my way.


Rebecca Hart Olander’s poetry has appeared recently in Crab Creek Review, Ilanot Review, Mom Egg Review, Plath Poetry Project, Radar Poetry, Solstice, Yemassee Journal, and others. Her chapbook, Dressing the Wounds, is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Rebecca teaches writing at Westfield State University and is editor/director of Perugia Press.

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