Keeping Time

by Emily Rose Proctor


The first few weeks of Motherhood
do strange things to Time,
which no longer passes but is sucked
         out of you, squeezed

            out in spurts and drops—liquid pearls
to be saved, savored. This must be
the Treasure buried in the field,
the one you sell everything for.

It can be measured, right? Every Atom
captured, stored—even frozen — a bulwark
against scarcity, against inadequacy—
    Impossible! Now it leaks out, drips

          opalescent tears, dark roses                     choking
blooming near the heart. Now it bursts forth in ferocious spray—
Now it stays put,
hardens like a knot
of Fear—or Resentment.

Now it must be coaxed,
   drawn out        slowly,               stringy and yellowed.

All the while the pump pretends to keep time—
a mocking metronome, singing Unwind, Unwind, Unwind.

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