The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Ellen Kombiyil – Poetry

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Ellen Kombiyil

In The Old Apartment Before Language Fully
Bloomed, The Landlord Tried To Evict Us

 

The skeleton key
lost, mismatched

furniture hauled
to the truck, Ma

hollerin I’m ready
to be done with this place,

re-tracing her pacing
worn through blue

linoleum. Ma,
don’t fret. The landlord

won’t give it back:
each cupboard scratch

each picture frame
nail hole she’ll ding you for

until the deposit’s gone.
What was it, Ma

you expected to become?
Traipsing down hall steps,

careening, plaster
to wood banister foot over

ankle a little violently
& startling in the near dark.

 

 


Ellen Kombiyil is the author of Histories of the Future Perfect and a micro chapbook Avalanche Tunnel. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Nimrod, North American Review, and Ploughshares. She currently teaches creative writing at Hunter College.

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