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Poetry Summer 2020

Mother Keeps Us on a Merry-Go-Round

by Darnell Carson

After living in Miramar Inn for three weeks,
I realize we are not on vacation.

My mother spends days in bed, never
moving, even when we try to shake her.

On this day, like all the others,
my sister and I forage food from

the continental breakfast, just in case
we don’t have the money for lunch that day.

We make off with our haul to the playground in the dusty field
behind the hotel, which is really just a single gray

merry-go-round, and we spin and spin
and spin, morning light barely breaking 

the mountain peaks. This morning, like all the others,
we try to forget what the world feels like.

Our mom runs out to us
screaming about running

off without telling someone, but then she
just keeps on spinning us,

and laughs at our oblivious giggles
and for a moment,

she is not thinking about the hotel we can’t afford,
or the food we don’t have, or money that won’t last.

She forgets too.

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