HUSK 2.1

Full-Time Mom Post-Break

by Faith Gomez Clark

Alone in our bed, neck deep in sheets a disorienting grey
as this San Francisco fog, the blinds closed,
but in the distance, a woodpecker works
and the children, eager devils, popcorn

through the streets as I think about how I,
my own kind of eager devil,
sent my children to be with their grandmother
all those states away because my psychiatrist said
Eliminate the stressors in your life.

I pulled out all my grey hairs.
But now I spend most of my time listening
to the city cough and scratch its head.
And that really stresses me out.
When my mother calls, she says, Honey,
pray more, so, I do––well by that I mean
I send my pleas into the air like a flock
of battered and blind crows.
Then my mind always wanders the way my three-year-old
once wandered into an open elevator at the hospital.

My fingers grazed the conveyor’s cold pewter lips
as they closed around him
and off he went while I strapped my daughter
to my chest and ran through each hospital
floor, shouting Atlas!