A Mother’s Mantra

Coil Poetry
Nov 25, 2018 · 2 min read

Poem by Rebecca Schumejda


For Liz Graziano


hell with the dishes, the dust,
the dirt, the diapers, the drudgeries.

I sweep crumbs under carpets,
toss toys haphazardly out of view,
sniff-test the laundry to lighten the load
while dragging my teething daughter
behind me like a soapy mop.

I know I shouldn’t envy the man
who needs not abandon thought
to attend his crying infant, or ailing household;
who does not have to microwave his coffee
three times before taking one sip;
whose wardrobe is not Jackson Pollock-ed
with a colorful assortment of baby food.

But I do.

To hell with the dishes, the dust,
the dirt, the diapers, the drudgeries.

Last Easter eve, with my daughter
somersaulting inside me
like a Tibetan prayer flag releasing its mantra,
I tried to persuade a veteran mother
that our art does not have to suffer
because we are women.
Thank you for allowing me to remain disillusioned
for the last few months of my pregnancy.

REBECCA SCHUMEJDA is the author of Falling Forward (Sunnyoutside), Cadillac Men (NYQ Books), Waiting at the Dead End Diner (Bottom Dog Press), and Our One-Way Street (NYQ Books). She is the co-editor at Trailer Park Quarterly and lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her family.
Third place winner of the 2009 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry.

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.

Coil Poetry

Written by

Poetry at The Coil: An Independent Literary Magazine at http://thecoilmag.com. Contact Poetry Editor Lewis J. Phillips at poetry@thecoilmag.com. #CoilMag

The Coil

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.

Coil Poetry

Written by

Poetry at The Coil: An Independent Literary Magazine at http://thecoilmag.com. Contact Poetry Editor Lewis J. Phillips at poetry@thecoilmag.com. #CoilMag

The Coil

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.

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