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Mama wrote a poem

Featured in Mamalode magazine, Issue no. 21

First Person Present

by Carrie Friedman

I try so hard to live in the present while

raising her, to be fully there as we are

dancing around the kitchen, her arms

wrapped around my neck, celebrating her

graduation from a toddler class she hated

4/5ths of the time. I blast a pop song


about doing things you might hate

4/5ths of the time but doing them anyway.

We sing along together. I dip her.

“You hold me tight,” she says.


“I promise,” I say. “I will always hold you tight.”

She sighs, puts her cheek next to mine, says

”Cheek to cheek.” And just like that,

I’m leaving the present, moving into


a past perfect tense of my life, nostalgic

for moments still taking place. Then

I time-travel to the past, before she was here –

how did we live without her? –


then the future continuous, when she

won’t be dancing with me anymore.

Suddenly, I’m watching from the outside,

third person, through the lit window:


a mother dances cheek to cheek with her

sometimes shy, sometimes bold child


and I am already missing

her sticky hands,

the soaring melody,

and the sound of her singing along.


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