What The Room Mom Hides
They pressed motherhood onto me like a mold,
threw me the keys to the minivan.
Soccer Mom, or Baseball Mom? they said.
I car-pool to the Ice Cream Social, nod at the Principal.
This is how I hide the snakes that seethe inside me,
a thousand snakes in a greasy snake-pit:
not one harmless garter or grass snake.
All are out for blood, all want
their next meal fresh and warm.
I do not try to make sense of it.
A pair of cobras, mated for life
rises behind my eyes to hiss and spit.
My tongue is an asp, flicking random poison.
A nest of vipers lurks between my thighs;
their hunger could suck men to husks.
The python in my belly squeezes slow,
nights when only wine can calm the spasms.
Look closely; you can see my skin
bubble and blister, as if about to burst
and birth my venomous children.
Keep watch on my ears, my nostrils, all my openings;
any minute a serpent might slither
out of my body like a worm
from the eye-socket of a pock-marked skull.
Meanwhile, I smile at my sons classmate;
his mother and I discuss the buses,
how its my turn to ship the boys to baseball.
We never speak of stress.
If you've any comments about this poem, Anna Evans would be pleased to hear from you.