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I sit on the pool’s edge and watch my daughter swim. She dives underwater then surfaces beside me. “Momma,” she says, “I was trying to see how long I could hold my breath…what it would be like to drown but couldn’t. I popped up for air.” I kiss the top of her swim cap. “Your body has instincts. It will fight to breathe. It wants you to stay alive.” * I am behind and need to get ahead. Too tired for both/either. My children need me, the dogs and cats need me, and the soon-to-be-ex-husband has equal need, too. No purposeful efficiency. Drivel scribble.
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'How I Would Use Time Travel' by TROY PANCAKE

Tonight I stared full into the eyes of my infant son while I fed him a bottle. Whether from contentedness or exhaustion, his eyes did not, as they often do, flit across the room, discovering everything in the usual infant way, but stayed fixed upon mine. His eyes are livid, tending toward thundercloud gray in the darkness, and big as a world from this close, a world yet unexplored. What wisp of a thought is circling his brain as he looks at me? For a moment, a connection formed that I find difficult to describe. It was not physical, but it felt physical, like symbiotic tendrils of flesh creating a bridge between our bodies. Saying it felt physical is perhaps just another way of saying it felt real, which makes sense, now that I think about it, because the spiritual is often more real than the physical.
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'Mothers’ Top Dresser Drawers' by SARAH M. WELLS

To rummage there was to be let in on a secret. You whispered. You tiptoed. Among the satin, lace, and letters of my mother’s was a string of pearls I let trickle across my palm. It had clung to the collarbone of her grandmother, my great-grandmother, Anna B, the one who claimed to be born on the boat coming from Slovakia. Mom and I would roll our eyes. We both would have died in childbirth, we believed, without modern medicine. Sure, born on the boat. I have since worn such necklaces with proper office attire for important meetings where I told grown men what to do with their business’s marketing budgets, and they listened. I felt brave. I even drove my own car there and back as if we women have always been doing such things. Anna B, that supposedly water-birthed babe, never got her license.
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'A Small Consolation' by HANNAH GRIECO

“Don’t hold your breath, baby. You’ll turn blue,” my mother always said. But my five-year-old daughter inhales. She holds her breath until her skin flushes, her eyes bulge, until I stop clipping her nails. “Okay, okay.” I drop the clippers on the dining room table, zip up her coat, slide the straps of her backpack up her arms until they rest in exactly the right spot. “We’ll do nails tonight.” She smiles then. “It’s alright,” she says. “I’ll bite them until they’re short.”
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