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Her Mother, a poem by Nancy Botkin

Her Mother

I’m at it again

   35 years later

folding and flattening

   little shirts and tiny 

little socks, all of it 

   fitting in the palm 

of my hand  Look! if what 

   they say is true, 

and the heart is

   as big as your fist

Look! Look! a tiny beating 

   heart underneath

a tiny shirt, something

   that floored me 

when her mother 

   was born, her mother 

who is sleeping upstairs,

   her breasts making 

milk so that her little one

   can puke and piss

and shit creating more 

   laundry, more sudsy 

water, more wonder

   and endless cycles

Nancy Botkin’s newest full-length collection of poems, The Next Infinity, was published by Broadstone Books. Her poetry has been widely published in journals such as Poetry East, december, Gyroscope Review, and Third Coast. She lives in South Bend, Ind