MOTHERLOVE

emily patterson

        for Saoirse

 

I was seven when the sea turned

on me, tossed me sideways, stole

 

my footing, sloshed me to shore

like a weed. I stood in saltwater,

 

sandy hair stuck to my shoulders,

stunned. When I saw your pearly

 

spine in the ocean of my body,

it was like that: a grief

 

unleashed. I said your name,

and the waves overtook me.

 

What could I do but surrender

to their swell? I shed years

 

of longing like an old skin,

stood reborn, then waded in.

 

 

Emily Patterson is an editor, poet, and mother in Columbus, Ohio. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Mothers Always Write; Thimble Literary Magazine; Better Than Starbucks; Why Mums Are Amazing, edited by Hollie McNish; catheXis Northwest Press; Apeiron Review; and elsewhere.

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