Does the world need another poem about a tired mother? Last week, I wanted to get in my car and drive to Somewhere Else. Anywhere Else, really. I have hitched my heart to the notion of a limitless woman, and I have been dragged away. I don’t know this woman. Not this year, anyway. I don’t even know who to be mad at most days, the days when I whisper-scream fuck into the hottest water coming out of my shower head. Can I tell you? I don’t want hot water. I want to be a popsicle left alone on the sidewalk; left to grow soft and sweet and shapeless in the hottest sun. I said this part out loud, so last week my husband put me in a car and I drove to the silence of Somewhere Else where I could feel my body melt into an unrecognizable shape. I gave her everything she desired: I soaked her in quiet, held her in the dark, offered her wine, sugar, a cold antipasto salad. But mothers can’t stay melted. So when it was time, I gathered dish towels and soaked myself back up, wrung myself out, and poured myself back into the shape of a mother. I returned only to retreat to my shower to whisper-scream what the fuck is wrong with me and why is this so hard and I don’t know what to become after a popsicle.
Amanda Roth is an emerging poet and author of the full-length collection, A Mother’s Hunger (2021). Her work explores motherhood, embodiment, the climate crisis, and revisionist folklore. She is featured in Wild Roof Journal and Sunday Mornings at the River, among others. Find her on Instagram @amandarothpoetry and Twitter @amandarothpoet