Tag Archives: mother

Eyed Up


Standing at the edge of the soccer field
She swung her rope
Jumped again
Varying her speed to vary her heart rate
Intense bursts followed by leisurely hops
She kept her eyes on her son’s practice
His perspiring brow mirroring her own
As he sprinted towards the goal

Other eyes were on her
Some of the moms
Some of the dads
Some dads’ eyes lingering
Assuming she performed for them
Versus her health
Her form fitting yoga pants and sports shirt
Selected by her for comfort
And to insure her clothing didn’t obstruct her workout
Kept her safe and cool
Moved well with her
And made her feel confident
Must really have been slipped into
They believed
To entice men to stop and stare
Excite a biological imperative to ogle each curve
And assess her attractiveness
Her motives
Her worth

How shameful for a busy mom
To multitask on a beautiful day
Attend her son’s practice
And still fit in some exercise
Before stopping at the store
To pick up her family’s own groceries
As well as those of her elderly mother
Swing by her mom’s place to drop off the bags
Carry them all in and unload them
And encourage her sweaty, antsy son to sit by his grandma
And swap stories about their day
As she threw out the expired yogurt and milk in the fridge
Print so small her mom could never spot the spoil
Change her sheets
Fill her mom’s pill box for the week
And make sure she had everything she needs

Finally, setting out her trash cans on the curb
Before climbing back in her car
To rush home in time to prepare dinner
For her two hungry boys and hungrier husband
Put her own groceries away
Then run her other son to swim practice
And remain poolside to praise his progress
Before heading back home and throwing in two loads of laundry
Paying the bills
While helping both boys with their homework
Fill out permissions slips for upcoming field trips
Clean up after the dog in the yard before the sun set
And throw a ball for their ancient spaniel to chase
Scratch her belly and giving her a treat
Pack everyone’s lunches for the next day
Fold the now clean laundry and set it atop appropriate dressers
Load the dishwasher
Wipe off the counters
Ask her husband about his day
And talk about his frustration with his boss
And the state of the country
And their shared distaste over the unfathomable resurgence of high-waisted jeans
Finalize the schedule for the upcoming weekend
To determine which parent is taking which child to which game
As they perfectly conflict on Saturday
Before she set out her clothes for the next day
So when she gets up before the sun rises
She won’t need to turn on the light
And disturb her husband as she gets ready for work
Sets out the cereal boxes and bowls for the family
Rinses blueberries and places them in the center of the table
Along with a note, “Love you all. Boys, please turn in the signed permissions slips that I put in your folders in your backpacks or you won’t be able to go on the trip to Philly. Have a wonderful day!”
And heads out the door in the still dark
To go make money
To help pay for the team fees and the groceries and the gas
And veterinarian bills

Let us judge this mom
Let’s put pictures of her jumping rope on social media
Let’s assume she chose to stand where she stood so everyone could best see her
Instead of where she had room to jump and still see the field
And let’s talk to all of our friends about her disparagingly
Criticize her for her ostentatious show
Of fitness and a concern for her own health and wellbeing
As she carries the weight of her family
On her capable, well defined shoulders every day
With enthusiasm and love


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

On Mothering A Son In February



The belling pink flowers
in the ceramic purple vase
are still fresh
like your words

You grinned metal
as you rushed up the stairs
bouquet in hand

When we hugged
my head reached
only your shoulder
The wonder of oatmeal

and years
a needlepoint of patience
with requisite tatters
eggs must be broken

Each day is played out
the same
you love me
you love me not

February 2016
Julie Ayers




According to my mother
I am a descendent of Mary Queen of Scots
as evidenced by my odd, stunted thumbs
a byproduct of centuries of royal inbreeding
Our family tree also claims
Lady Jane Gray
the tragic Nine Day Queen

And then there is the teenage boy
who fled Scotland to avoid a death warrant
dressed as a girl
Arriving in young America
he sought out George Washington
to plead his case and request employment
Impressed by the boy’s ingenuity and bravery
Washington hired him
eventually making him a trusted aide

If you look at the signatures
on the Declaration of Independence
you’ll find another of my ancestors
on the far left column, second signature down
Lyman Hall, connected by my Cooke clan

What I have inherited
from this rather remarkable lineage
is a propensity towards a life filled
with epic drama and intrigue
and a marked talent
for losing my head

April 2015
Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 29


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