VARIATIONS ON SECOND CHILDREN
I. On Labor
The youngest daughters come stitched into birth
like the elastic waists of their mothers’ jeans, sewing
needles improvising under the skin. In theaters
we are sequels, second acts, thrift stores selling
shades of pink our mothers are told they need.
II. On Being a Daughter
Smaller dinner portions, brother’s old
shirts, ballet shoes, blood stains
where no one can see, small talk,
mother losing baby weight, other
kinds of blood, floral print
training bra, expectation, sewing
kit, number of bathroom tiles,
Dramamine, broken dress zipper, pill
bottle, what other girls think, doctor
visit, what other boys think, discount
shopping rack, metal detector,
a new number of bathroom tiles,
your center of balance swayed.
III. On Moving Forward
The curtains have opened.
Here is the end of intermission,
the second act telling you
Amanda Silberling is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, originally from South Florida. Recently, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, The Louisville Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, SOFTBLOW, and more. Her essays have appeared in PANK and The Los Angeles Times, and she regularly writes and photographs for Rock On Philly. She is the Blog Editor at The Adroit Journal.
Image credit: ciadefoto on Flickr
Read more from Cleaver Magazine’s Issue #8.