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2023 - A Mother's Love Poetry Contest Winners

Everything That Is Watered By Amanda J. Gott 



I see myself in the silver vanity knob, 

upside down, 

with dark circles, the natural makeup of zombies. 

I sit cross-legged in my sweats at 2:32 A.M.,  

holding back her hair so she can vomit 

watermelon and curdled milk. 

I do not recognize that shell of a face,  

upside down, in the silver vanity knob. 


Did I know when I colored that picture of Mom yelling at me  

for skateboarding through the house  

with backwards hat and headphones on,  

that I didn’t have to publicly display my artistic perspective  

in front of all the ladies at the Mother’s Day Tea?  

Yet I did, probably because she made me wear a dress.  


I see myself fading in the silver vanity knob,  

upside down,  

as the hot steam shower fogs the bathroom. 

I cradle him close  

as we sway to the tune of 

Jesus Loves Me. 

This I know: he breathes 

steam and melts into my chest.  


Did I know when she stopped to see the birds 

and listen to their songs 

that I, too, would someday stop and look up to the sky?  

And when I see a chickadee flitting from branch to branch  

did I realize her hugs would still linger and remind me  

not to worry? 


I see my heart, her heart, in the silver vanity knob, 

upside down, 

beating rhythms inaudible  

before the vomit  

and croupy coughs, 

night terrors and nighttime tickles, 

cul-de-sac parades with frying pan banjos, 

and the melting into my chest.  


Did I know when we planted those crocuses,  

satin sheet purple, they would still bloom 

after she was gone?  

She did not lose herself  

nor fade away. 

She is still blooming 

in me, 

in them, 

in everything that is watered.


Born by Emilia Rosa

A child is born, mysterious being
my body kept nine months a secret.
The first wail of burning pain of life anew
among these strangers she doesn’t know,
magic transference from a cushioned chamber
to the enormity of the universe in a room.
Blinking eyes that do not yet see,
grasping fingers that cannot hold,
body so complete yet still evolving.
Outside the cold wind blows the trees
pulling filaments off whipping willows
in spasms of contorted wombs.
Placenta, blood, umbilical cord—
the beauty of it all is overwhelming:
the miracle of life every minute created.
Bones adjust back to their origin
and milk flows to satiate and make grow
a child that will learn to sweetly call
the most beautiful name that ever was.
Be mother and be the Universe in one:
a child is what makes the circle close
into the perfect ring that started the world.

My Mother Sets the Dining Table with Love by Sandra Rivers-Gill



With churched hands she gathers us.

A crowd of knees bowed beneath

her table of festive linen;

every tongue confessing.  


Her gift is a bookmark of conversations

turning pages that offer light.

And we shine as if the Son Himself    

has wrapped His arms around us.


With grace she serves the least of us – 

her hands a virtue of habit.

We are like her centerpieces; heirs 

of love passed around the table.


She fills us with witty musings –  

the medicine of a good laugh shared.

Her dish of wisdom is fresh

from the heart; can’t afford to waste it.       


Her flavor is spice on our tongues – 

but comfortable as the quilts she threads.
Her hymns are golden brown
melodies we were raised on.


She spreads a buffet before we hunger;
marinates it and stirs to overflowing.

Joy is her most memorable dessert –
the chorus of our spoons chime in.

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