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who has a mother?

I say, all babies
but also: boards, ships, lodes, vinegar, sourdough

I say it lightly
trying to seem witty
but I can tell it upsets you as
I hear your silence transform
on the other side of the wall

who has a mother?
all babies
and even boards & ships & lodes
& vinegar
only you were not born of a mother
you say
you were not born of a mother
you were borne on the north wind
you sigh
that’s where you come from
a wind wizard made you out of a teardrop
then sent you away

I see, I say
well who is to say
that teardrop wasn’t your mother

I bet you look just like her

I bet you cry like her



Laura Theis’s exophonic work appears in Poetry, Asimov’s, Mslexia, Rattle, and elsewhere. Her Elgin Award-nominated debut, how to extricate yourself, an Oxford Poetry Library Book of the Month, won the Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize. Her follow-up, A Spotter’s Guide to Invisible Things, won the Live Canon Collection Prize and the Society of Authors’ Arthur Welton Award. Other accolades include the Alpine Fellowship, Oxford Brookes Poetry Prize, AM Heath Prize, and Mogford Prize. For more information, see http://lauratheis.weebly.com/publications.html.
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20 May 2024

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