Your Mother Raises You - Sabina Lindsey

A baby bundled like a human

burrito stares at the pizza in my

greasy hands and I am

embarrassed for thinking a baby

will judge the way

I eat pizza in public.

We share glances and I smile

at her frost-nipped nose, and

think of the crust in my teeth.

I wave at her heavy stare,

say hello like I am talking

to a dog but she is not a dog. She is

a baby looking at my greasy hands

and crusty teeth.

Her baby hand escapes from her

makeshift pink burrito,

waves and stares.

Does she see the baby I want, my own

bundle? Can she see me as the mother

I couldn’t have?

She smiles her gummy smile--my eyes

water and I am embarrassed again.

Swaddled, she analyses my now-empty

hands as she is strolled away.

The baby will forget me soon.

Babies do not remember much.

I don’t remember you, mama,

the rings on your fingers, silver

intertwined with turquoise.

I find your hands in mine, the lines

we never finished.

Your sound is static in my ears.

My head underwater.

Sabina Lindsey is a Boston based poet. She is currently an MFA student for poetry at The University of Massachusetts Boston.

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