Jessica Latham Poetry

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They poop on the carpet, in the lawn, in freshly washed sheets. They cry and your breasts leak for them. They cry and you cry too.

They don’t listen. They question. They run away when you need them to stay close. They cling to you when you want a moment alone. They color on your new couch. They tip over your fresh vase of calla lilies. They ask for candy for breakfast. They pull the cat’s tail. They stand in shopping carts, somehow unbuckling themselves, again, from the safety strap.

They are hungry once you’ve just cleaned the kitchen. They need to pee when you’ve started the car to leave for your appointment you’re already late to.

And they say things that take your breath away, things that you want to jot down in your journal to hold forever. They look up at you with eyes you never want to let go. They are faces that deserve eternal cameras to capture every look. They smell sweeter than any sweet smelling cliche. Their hair is silk.

They show you everything you are – who you want to be and who you want to run from. They make the bags under your eyes worth it once you let go of denial and pack away your concealer. Their voices are songbirds.

They are your joey, swaddled tightly against your chest, and you, their mother kangaroo.

They are the only thing that lived inside you, swimming in the waters of your womb. They kicked you in a way that made you laugh. They made the swelling in your abdomen delightful, even with all the discomfort. They made you waddle and worry. They made you plan.

They showed you just how much control you do not have. They made mothers from years before sigh with anticipation. They are the reason poets search for words, the reason we’ve created symphonies.

They are your children. The very thing that reminds you why you were born.


About the Author

Jessica Latham

Jessica Malone Latham’s writing has been featured in Brain, Child, Literary Mama,, Speak Mom and on NPR's local station. She has published various forms of Japanese poetry in numerous journals and anthologies. Learn more about Jessica’s work at and on .

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