Motherhood Literature + Art

Dara-Lyn Shrager – Poetry

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Dara-Lyn Shrager




My child no longer calls this place home
but my name is mother. I drive toward
his apartment in the metal north,
into the clang of a city with its trapdoors
and sooted drifts. A week’s worth of mail
blocks the door I push. Inside, I water
the pincushion cactus where its pink eyes
have withered shut. How I remember
the white stove, the whiter tub. Noodles,
laundry, tick of time. I tell my son twenty-one
should feel something like powerful.
He just says trying. I think I believe
in his human body, the best small invention
I have made.

Dara-Lyn Shrager is the co-founder/editor of Radar Poetry. Her poetry collection, Whiskey, X-Ray, Yankee, was published by Barrow Street Books in 2018. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in many journals, including Crab Creek Review, Southern Humanities Review, Barn Owl Review, and Nashville Review. Learn more at: and



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