There are no 15 minutes mandated breaks for mothers,
no putting children on hold to lullaby music
we stop to pour a cup of coffee, or chat
over the water cooler at another adult.
‘What do you do?’ is often met with
the sheepish smile, downward eyes and
‘I just stay at home’.
As though she, childless and
with her briefcase, high heels,
a hot fucking coffee, from a store.
is instantly more powerful than me.
Me, at home shaping humans out of feral animals.
I imagine her, filing files.
Stopping to re-gloss, or pee alone.
I am envious in the ugliest of ways.
I do not even know what hot coffee tastes like anymore.
This is a thankless job, mostly.
No praise or promotion for;
getting all the laundry folded.
No accolades for bandaging a wound or
managing to free the unruly tangle
of curly four year old hair
without taking a scissor to it.
But there are those moments,
the kind when she is thirsty at three am,
and I am too lazy/tired/mostly delirious
to get a cup from the kitchen.
We make my hands into cups,
and she drinks until she says ‘I’m better’.
I have no files for these occurrences,
they are phenomena uncharted,
and I am the
greatest and first explorer.