When I was a 21, I began to

question my mother’s love,

that silky dust grown and born with me

as much as my placenta, umbilical cord.

She lathered her love on me as

an infant, red haired and dependant.


That was before I could lift my head,

travel by foot, speak with those

unexpected noises that slip past

my toothless gums. Now, that sacred

substance runs low in the mason jar

hidden behind a shoebox.


For years she had scattered it over

my pink bedroom, floral bed set;

smeared it over my blushed cheeks

as she dropped me off at middle school;

speckled it in every day’s bagged lunches,

drives home from school, goodnight kisses.


But, for her daughter with no grad school plans

or full time jobs- when she reaches her hand

into that glass jar of rare love,

fingernails scrape the bottom.


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