After School by Emily Davis-Fletcher

I shrug off my book bag
at the front door
and rush to the mirror
to see what the older kids
on the bus laugh at

this usually doesn’t take long
but Mom lies on her side
between the sink and tub
like she was falling
and passed out
waiting for someone to catch her

I stand over her on tiptoe
with one foot at the curve of her back
the other by her belly
gone soft round the cesarean scar
pushing against my sole
as she breathes deeply
into the shag carpet
the color of thirsty grass
that’s sprinkled with baking soda
each time the toilet overflows

I stare like stones to see
why the boy
whose name I write in hearts
doesn’t notice me
while her hair covers her eyes
and fishes in her mouth for reasons
not to give up.

Emily Davis-Fletcher
Emily Davis-Fletcher

Emily Davis-Fletcher has a BFA in creative writing from Stephens
College and an MA in women’s studies from the National University of
Ireland Galway. Her poetry has been published in Southword, Crannóg
Magazine, the Irish Examiner, and HCE Review, among other journals.
She placed third in the 2016 Just Add Words Video Description Contest
and judged the 2016 Magnolia Gardens Poetry Competition.  Currently,
Emily is writing a first collection of poetry and is thankful to have
been selected to read at the Introductions Reading at the 2018 Cork
International Poetry Festival.

Links to work online: