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My mother's R and R.

I don't know why she lay late in bed that morning-perhaps sick, though she was never sick. When my brother and I came in from play, we were hot and dusty, we drank glasses of water, then stopped in her bedroom to ask our mother something or other. There were a lot of pink flowers in full blossom in the wallpaper, and motes like bits of something ground-up drifting about. We climbed into bed with her. Perhaps she was weak from sickness, and she was alone, and she let us take a breast each out of the loose slip. "Let's make believe we're babies, my brother said, and we put the large pink flowers at the end of those lax breasts into our mouths and sucked with enthusiasm, and she laughed and seemed to enjoy our play. Perhaps we grew intoxicated with our pleasure, or perhaps, thwarted by the failure of the milk to flow, we sucked harder, probably our bodies writhed, our eyes flared, maybe she could feel our teeth. She caught herself and, suddenly flushed, took back her breasts and sent us from the bed, two small hungry boys driven off by the she-wolf. But we had got our nip, and in the empire we would found, we would taste every woman and expel any who came to resemble her.
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Author:Kinnell, Galway
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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