A Mother Must

Pyper Stever

            consider isolation.            She must
consider its shape-shifting shape            awning
preternatural, raspberry, the bead of afterbirth
         brought to mouth       in re
source of pinprick.

            A mother must consider her role as universe.
She must consider she is the ongoing, nonlanguage
dialogue of the universe.
            An unkindness of ravens fears her
way, unperturbed volunteers strident
among grass clippings,       tomato flesh in de
                    coffee grounds.

            A mother must consider forgetting. It must
crush the air from her lungs as first       violence,
memory struggling to remain in thrash.
            She must consider making a habit of it, as
there have been other habits                : boys       : cigarettes
: truancy                : poetry
            At parties, grab a pen
and coaster.            Quick. Someone give me a word.
            One moment says,            Hunger.
            She must consider hunger as the summer
everyone referred to as            The Summer of the Wildfires,
say to one another, This is The Summer of the Wildfires.            Later
Remember that year? The year of The Summer of the Wildfires?
         It is         a raven throwing its panic
against window to window.

            A mother must consider teaching a child to ride a bike,
the child adamant             : let go       : let go       : let go       : let go       : let go
            at the park and a teenage couple drape themselves
over a bench. The girl’s back faces, the boy’s lips stravage the
of her shoulder, a train flattened penny, looking directly
over and directly the mother does not consider flitting away her
gaze,            a raven            : she must consider staying            : a mother must
consider staying.

Pyper Stever graduated from Central Washington University with a degree in English and Creative Writing. She has written for AMPt Community. She continues to wild in the Pacific Northwest with her family. There is a dog.