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Portrait of a Mother
Sep 1, 2010

I am a mother,

instead of a picture, multiplication table adorns my kitchen wall.

I have 8 arms like an octopus reaching in every direction.

Nobody can worry as much as I do.

There is always some stain on my clothes that detergent won't remove.

I am a mother,

my notebook has dinosaurs drawn on it

the wall of my bedroom a little artist's exhibition.

Me and my cell phone fall apart too often.

I lose my keys every other day.

I am a mother

and a pediatrician though I never went to medical school.

I play the cook, the nurse, the teacher, the driver, the singer

selfless like the rain, the earth, the sun.

I am a mother,

small things make me cry for joy.

like little notes that say "luv mom"

or sketched portrait with ugly teeth and fuzzy hair,

every line reflecting admiration and care.

I am a mother,

my heart deep and vast like an ocean.

I am a mother,

paradise lies under my feet.

Mirkena Ozer pursues MA in creative writing at the University of Georgia, Atlanta.