West of the Mojave.

In a dream

I don’t remember.

In that space

Where water amputates,


And everything,

We cannot burn grows,


I am Mother.


I am Mother

To a daughter, born


Composed in a turbulent sea.

Surfacing, with skin and teeth,

Umbilical cord,

Tied off,


Around her neck,

In protest.

I am Mother.


Child of the corner.

Lotus flower

I wear you like a wound


To understand

Your language.


I cannot turn away.


They say, a mother is always

Letting go

Of her children.

I hear you.

I see you.

In my daydreams

In my nightmares.

I cannot turn away.


She takes a Permanent


Crosses out my name.


i am mother.


by Sheree La Puma

Sheree La Puma is an award-winning writer whose personal essays, fiction and poetry appeared in such publications as the Burningword Literary Journal, I-70 Review, Mad Swirl, and Ginosko Literary Review, among others. She received an MFA in Writing from California Institute of the Arts and attended workshops with poet Louise Mathias and writer Lidia Yuknavitch. She has taught poetry to former gang members and theater to teen runaways. Born in Los Angeles, she now resides in Valencia, CA with her rescues, Bello cat and Jack the dog.


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