The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Lynne McEniry – Poetry

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Lynne McEniry

 

Covid dreaming

I thought I was done being pregnant
kids in their 30s no period
for the past two years but these
Covid dreams are so real
they repeat themselves      so real
that my uterus is still contracting
come daylight      still trying to
forget that in this dream nature chose
to end it early and why I don’t even
know       and how I got
dream pregnant in the first place
I can’t quite recall    in the dream pain
I’m thinking how it’s supposed to be
that once the babies are delivered
bodies eventually forget the pain
and even in the dream I recall
a time I found that to be true

yet, it’s Covid time now  and even
after I am fully awake  even after
morning coffee  and check-in texts
with the kids   my hand still rests
on my abdomen   still feels
Covid-induced contracting
and it takes three days to realize
that the ending
of this dream baby’s life
is my intensifying fear for my
grown children living socially distant
connected only by technology now
no comforting hug to calm
their fears no way for me to keep
them safe from a silent killer
that could sneak in  without
their consent       suck the life
from their lungs and three days
after the dream  I’m still expecting
blood in the toilet
 

 

Secretly in my dream I knelt down and asked them to make room for my grandchildren

                                                                                    after Mary Oliver

 

I was spending the weekend with my two
grown children        both in their 30s   one
married      one not yet        both told me
years ago they didn’t want children      I
believed them then       believed that I
understood each reason    believed that I
would have plenty of other children in my
life to share that love with      I
knew it wasn’t genetics that made me
aunt to four great nephews of my dear
friend    and that the child of my niece feels
just like my own         but really looking at my
kids this weekend      my joy in their familial features  my
delight in their unique ideas    their common habits    I
longed right then for one of them to tell me
they’ve changed their mind that   Yes     I
would someday be Nonna  and that I
would hold their child and see my eyes or
hear my laugh             and the other one to say to me
Yes  they will birth the cousin    that our family will escape
extinction      for at least one more generation
this was only my         dream though   and I
only need open my eyes  to remember
nothing can die           …
…        and I asked them,
in my dream I knelt down and asked them
to make room for me.


Lynne McEniry’s book, some other wet landscape, is published by Get Fresh Books. She edits manuscripts and leads poetry workshops upon request and is poetry co-editor for The Platform Review for Arts By The People.  Born in Yonkers, NY, Lynne lives in Morristown, NJ, and teaches at Saint Elizabeth University.

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