Once a couple of years ago, my partner’s kids
gave me a card for mother’s day. This year
they didn’t, caught up in their lives as they are,
their mum (their real mum) in turmoil. My role
to make sure they don’t forget about her, to be
careful to make my opinions fit into the puzzle
she has laid out for all of us. Did your mum say
this was okay? To believe. To make sure they make
her day special. I do not get a day. I am not a mum.
I didn’t wish my mum a happy mother’s day
this year: she doesn’t recognize me anymore, tells me
about her kids in a vague sort of way like you do
with strangers, leaving the heat out of it. I am
extravagantly sad that my insides are full of fibroids,
unmarked by tiny fetal handprints. Mum,
I imagine these flesh jelly beans not whispering,
their translucent lips pressed against the inside
of my belly. Mum. These not-babies getting quieter.
Published online July 16 2019.
Margret Bollerup lives in a tiny shack on top of a mountain in Chilliwack, British Columbia, where she mostly just complains about cows mooing too loudly. Her work has appeared in The Antigonish Review and Poetry Is Dead, and is forthcoming in Maisonneuve.