The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Mary Makofske – Poetry

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Mary Makofske

Jazz Duo

Now our son learns to accompany
a woman singing. Not too much amp,
don’t step on her words. He takes
his solos, or leaves them, they talk
about key, where to start, how to end.
The way her glance lights his face,
everyone knows she’s singing
the love songs to him. Their repertoire
is straight from the standards book:
I May Be Wrong, (But
I Think You’re Wonderful). The sun
didn’t shine Till There Was You.

There were times when Dissonance
was all, when he was lead guitar
with no time for lyrics older than him.
When both knew Solitude, no matter
who was with them. Now only the past
darkens Cry Me a River.

Let them play on, play on
Come Rain or Come Shine.

Don’t leave, he murmurs, half asleep,
as she rises early for work.
She thinks he means
that morning. He means Always.

Mary Makofske’s latest books are World Enough, and Time (Kelsay, 2017) and Traction (Ashland, 2011), winner of the Richard Snyder Prize. Her work has appeared previously in MER, and recently in The American Journal of Poetry, Spillway, Poetry East, and Slant. In 2017 she received the Atlanta Review Poetry Prize and the New Millennium Poetry Prize.  She is the mother of two sons and four grandsons.


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