Ann E. Michael
is Writing Coordinator for DeSales University in Pennsylvania. At home, she operates in a universe inhabited by wildlife and domesticated creatures that is, occasionally, wondrous strange.
Her three chapbooks are available through links via her website.
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Not My Mother
Are you my mother? —P.D. Eastman
The sea is not my mother
and the willow is not my mother,
the sound of traffic on the interstate
never sheltered me in its womb.
The kitten is not my mother,
nor the dog nor the cow, and I am not
a hatchling fallen from the nest.
It may be the options for mother
are not limited to one; but One
is not my mother (nor eight, nor
Now, look here,
you may say, you know who
your mother is. She lives 42 miles
southeast of here in a white one-story
house, number 29, cul-de-sac,
azaleas lining the foundation,
blue teapot on the kitchen counter.
It’s true, but then, I have already
told you the truth: the sea
is not my mother; my mother’s not
the cloud, the tree, a plane, a ship—
her possibilities are endless.