May Joseph


how unremarkable it is to wake up bleary-eyed and still be surprised

that one is not dead yet

see I tell the little one

it’s a marvelous sunrise over the mournful city

the sun hits you in that way – does it not?

cow, she says with gravity

and see how spectacularly the city unfolds below us

caught in motion, always in the future

treading hereness as the past haunts the medulla oblongata

duck, she says speedily

and smell how sweet that air is

as dogs cavort on macadam and crows crowd the iron fence around

Seravalli Park

dog she quips with delight

Dana Stangel Plowe 

My Daughter’s Uniform

After the children

have retreated to sleep,

I turn to the next chore:

warm the iron, ready

the patches that mean

responsibility, try to follow

step-by-step the path

toward their adhesion

to the brown polyester vest.

Nothing takes.  They fall

like papers from

an unmade bed.  I rummage

through our kitchen drawer,

straining to give my daughter

what she desires,

a feeling of belonging

I never had.  I end up

using fabric glue

but it’s too strong and soaks

through:  by morning,

the vest itself

has sealed closed.

My daughter lifts it,

her mouth beginning

to turn, her eyes fixed

upon the woman who

is her mother, disbelieving.

Copyright 2010 The Mom Egg. All rights reserved.

The Mom Egg 2006 Selections

Fay Chiang

WIND for Xian

     Terror. I put a name to it, this feeling I have every night when I am unable to sleep: I walk around the apartment, wash floors, dishes, wonder how I will rearrange the shelves to hold more of my daughter’s toys, books, drawings; turn on the TV, wait for the weather report, scan late night shows; make another cup of tea.

I look in on Xian, my seven year old daughter, fast asleep in her room. Her Christmas tree lights shine and I recall a conversation we had a few nights ago.

Xian, I’m going to get my energy back. I know it’s been hard the past few months.

   -Mama, you’ll lose energy by trying so hard to get it back. You’ll waste energy.

    Then how do I get my energy back?

   -Oh, you just listen to me. Do what I tell you. I know how to keep my energy.

Okay, what’s that?

   -Mama, number one: Lie down; number two: Close your eyes; number three: Sleep.

Xian, you’re so wise!

   -And Mama, no talking!

I bargain. Let me get through this breast cancer. Let me live long enough to see my daughter

grow up, until she doesn’t need me. Then I realize she will always need me. Let me write a

book, one good book, and let me have the health to go around this world, at least once.

Then I see her: a young woman riding a horse across the plains of Mongolia, braids flying

against wind at ease with herself, her face shining with life and color, riding like a Native

American princess from those storybooks of my childhood, living with nature taut, sparingly

in the palm of the universe.

I want to be those women: riding across the plains with the wind, with my daughter, her braids

flying, our laughter ringing.

Elizabeth Castagna

My Favorite Shoes

As soon as possible and as possible is soon.  Soon is

as possible as now.  And now is possible.  Now is

possible.  A possible thing is as soon as a possible. 

In now is possible as.  Not as soon as in the possible

of possibles, but in as now.

The Mom Egg

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