Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Momma

I am sick. Not the dying sick, but the perpetually sick, the we-can-help-you-manage-your-pain-but-we-can’t-cure-you sick. I need a lot of bloodwork and my phlebotomist calls me Momma.
 
But I never felt that primal need some other women have, the urge to grow children inside and deliver them to the world.
 
I am a Teacher, and a good one. I help dry tears and give advice and attend youth sporting events and pat hands when words are simply not what is needed. I am an Auntie, and a good one. I can diaper and feed and read to and sing to and put to bed and play with.
 
And I am grateful, oh so grateful, to not have produced a child to inherit this sick, or welcomed children into my home only to see me in this state, unable to care for anyone, least of all myself.
 
But I think of them sometimes, the children in need of a Momma — two little boys in a wall full of photos of adoptable children I spotted in grad school during a pit stop at a fast food place over a semester break — entwined and smiling, wearing matching blue shirts and heart-catching smiles. My eyes tracked to their faces, on this poster I had never before seen. I instantaneously felt they were mine and I was theirs and I should call for them and go to them, quickly, instead of standing mutely by the side door to the parking lot with a bag full of rapidly cooling fries. But I was a student with neither money nor a full-time job and no way to support us, this instant family. So I hug them in dreams and pray they found a Momma who loves them very much indeed.
 
I am just so sorry it could not have been me.

 
 

SBighamSarah Bigham reads, teaches, and writes in Maryland where she lives with her kind chemist wife, their three independent cats, and an unwieldy herb garden.

 
 
 

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Categories: Poetry, Themed, Unseen

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