March 5, 2018

Papa pours himself

black tea from the

old iron kettle,


thinking about

stacking hay. 

He says

I was bottle-fed

cow’s milk. He’d empty

Bell’s udders before dawn

and boil me a cup

over the gas-lit burner.

Mama’s good breast

didn’t leak much and

she’d be damned

if her baby girl drank

factory formula.

Now when I hit the divots

on my bike to school

I notice the bounce

of my budding chest,


like my Mama.

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© 2023 by MCLA Spires.