by Joanne Durham

Sages warn, Live in the present,

longing can do you in,

my Mom in her last days

paced room to room

with walker and oxygen,

there’s nothing to look forward to.

Clutched in the grip

of a global pandemic,

the sonogram of that child-to-be

releases a smile so deep

I think it’s from my own womb

not my daughter’s,

breaks my fast on joy,

spreads its feast across my face.

She carries tomorrow

in her belly – yes, I’ll take


Joanne Durham is a retired educator living on the North Carolina coast, with the ocean as her backyard. She was a finalist for the 2021 NC Poetry Society’s Laureate Award, and the NC State Poetry Contest. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Gyroscope, Rise Up Review, Yellow Arrow, Love in the Time of COVID ChroniclesTipton, and other journals and anthologies. Varada J.M is a 9th-grader based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, studying at Rani Public School, Vadakara. After hurriedly doing homework, Varada divides her time between practicing classical dance and watching horror films. She loves dogs but nobody at home wants one.

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