Tag Archives: guilt

Twenty One Days



You had a different name
penned on the card
affixed to your bassinet

I missed the first three weeks
when your life,
a fine thread, barely held

Those absent days
seemed endless as space

Impossibly small you
untethered by family love
adrift in vast wards

I didn’t hear your first cry
wrap you in my arms
and nuzzle you close

When your wet, weak lungs
made them intubate
I didn’t know there was a you

Those twenty one days

before we met
before I took my place
before I became your witness

before I acted as your voice
before I first saw and loved you
before I was your mother

Seemed an enormous failure
on my part
to find and protect you

A love feed irrationality
that’s finally begun to ebb slightly
after twenty one years

your mother


October 2016
Julie Ayers


Writer’s Remorse



it is November
the month the mother
steals time
to write down words
enough nouns and verbs
dependent clauses and exclamations
to fill to full
a book

she is chagrin
about the stretches taken
to load 2000 connected words a day
on the computer screen
she feels
50,000 ways selfish
as she sinks in phrasing

despite her still gleaming counters
the laundered clothes
signed permission slips returned
bills promptly paid
dog’s belly scratched
husband queried about his day

regular office hours kept
outings undertaken
with her daughter for chai
son and mother sitting
counting the methods
used to dispatch zombies
and catch killers

a slight uptick is noted
in the consumption of takeout
her nails remain unpolished
dust gathers on her bike seat
her books rest unread

it is November
the month the mother
steels time
to write

November 2104
Julie Ayers

Out of Context


CricketsThe can of Scrubbing Bubbles
was just there
easy to grab
when I’d pull back the curtain
and find the crickets in the bathtub
so black against the white
so wrong against the right

They’d rally in the early morning gloom
surprise me with an irregular attack
as I stood posed to step in the shower
in my bathroom on the second floor
the year I was fifteen

Crickets my kryptonite
I’d always scream
and from a safe distance
shoot a stream of foam from the can
suspending their motion
sticking them in place
freezing them in time

I did not like to watch them die
or scoop their shell foamed mess
from the hard tub floor
those dark makers of music
my responsibility
and now my Clarice’s lambs
still haunting me for the role I played
in silencing their song

April 28, 2013
Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo #28