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Issa M. Lewis

To be a mother is to know pain

on a scale so exquisite, it becomes craving,

it becomes moon pulling tide

morning and evening, as if water

could rise out of its bed and join the sky.

But there is that crucial distance

that the moon’s grasp cannot traverse,

though her fingers outstretch 

and she imagines she can reach—

and that is the way of it, the intense longing

for the piece of her that left

to seek its own way, that made her hollow,

grasping for water but only finding handfuls of sand.

Issa M. Lewis is a graduate of New England College’s MFA in Poetry program and currently teaches composition at Davenport University. Issa M. Lewis was the 2013 recipient of the Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize, and her poems have previously appeared in Tule Review, Jabberwock, Blue Lyra Review, Pearl, and Naugatuck River Review.

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