20 Apr

It was the first time

my baby girl

looked right through me

like I wasn’t there,

the first time I ordered the dog off

the bed and she wouldn’t budge.


It was the second

necklace I tried with my new dress,

the one that made clear

my worst features, like

the extra skin I’ve grown this winter

on my upper arms.


It was coming out to five hundred people

from the stage –

as if I hadn’t come out,

publicy and privately,

five hundred times before.


It wasn’t that.


It was being on stage with a script in hand.

It was aiming my voice towards the mic.

It was walking in a way that wouldn’t rip

my new dress. It was jitters for opening night.


It was reading my story on stage.

It was my stomach plummeting.


It was the sensation

of applying eyeliner

backstage before the show,

my hands shaking.


It would dissipate

the moment I stepped into the light.

But when I stepped out again,

would it return?

Listen to Your Mother Chicago plays at the Anatheneum Theatre on May 5th. I’ll be on stage in a bright, block-colored dress, along with some beautiful and powerful writers. We’ll be sharing stories on motherhood – being mothers and having them. Click here for more info, or to buy tickets.

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National Poetry Writing Month:

30 poems in 30 days.


Your Words

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