It isn’t a word I’ve given much thought to,

and I can’t recall the last time I spoke it—


For so long, I’ve been the mother of boys

who crack baseballs and jump off roofs


and never once did their joy become

a wheel of limbs and banner of hair.


Today is my mother’s birthday, and my son’s.

Outside the pizza parlor


two teenage girls without an audience of boys

did cartwheels in the parking lot


and I smiled as I said the word out loud

to myself – only the pizza as my audience


in the passenger seat; a carryout order

destine to be devoured back at home,


like this life, like these years that have spun me

upside down as I gained momentum.


Finally slowing down, slow motion now,

I watch the girls and become myself again,


remembering how good it tasted

to feel capable of anything,


sure in this inspired moment, that I still am.





DeMaris Gaunt



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