Maternal

Umlauf sculpture museum in Austin, Texas

Umlauf sculpture garden in Austin, Texas

Expecting a naught

return on her investment

a mother nurtures

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Arrival

For joy awaiting

swallowing lumps down the throat,

father, doctor, her

Memories

There was nothing else left to do. Marhsa had spent the weekend catching up on her reading, work emails, and calls. Those were easy. She had dawdled to avoid the dreaded task: cleaning up the attic.

It’d accumulated more dust and memories than she wanted to rekindle. As if looking into a different life, she rummaged around with growing queasiness. If only she could forget.

Coloured pencils and glitter paper greeted her. In faded yellow, pink, red, and green, as a long-gone rainbow, were her daughter’s handcrafts. Where the pot of gold should’ve been was the pall of the six-year-old.

The other side

If only her life was as great as Kate’s.

They’d been high school friends, and while Kate’s established father had landed her a job in a conglomerate, Pam’s carpenter father could do no such thing.

“Congratulations!” Pam cried as they met fifteen years later. She was a school teacher and Kate—well, she had a career colleagues, neighbours, and even friends were jealous of. A seven-figure salary, a comfortable house, another new car—it was everything Pam had dreamt of.

Kate said nothing. Under her father’s constant shadow, she couldn’t even treat her friend for dinner without her father’s approval.

Partial

Means naught for mother

the rivalries of children

all hers, all the same