Sweet Bitters

If you die first, I will surely regret

all the time I have spent angry with you,

unable to rise above feeling crushed

by your will, your need for me to love

what you love.  This is true, just as I

mourn the years of motherhood,

never half-hearted, just unable to breathe,

caught in the dirty refrigerator,

the avalanche of laundry, menus,

dust bunnies, bills, career—

My friend asks why I miss you,

fear for you so when you go to war.

When you are here, she sees our

differences and wonders what holds

us together.  How I’ve brooded

over that question, especially

when your good -humored flirting

feels slathered, like a sweet frosting,

never noticing the cake is burnt.

Amazing, we don’t declare it inedible.

——–Caroline LeBlanc, MAMF Writer-in-Residence

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