Five Trash Bags

This year love looks like countless hours, countless miles
in the van 
between home and hospital.

This year love looks like clear, plastic bins of baby clothes
preserved or passed on,
no longer needed.

This year love looks like tiny scratches covering my breasts,
a bloody map of her appetite
for milk and mothering.

This year love looks like a bouquet of five trash bags
bulging
beside a clean van.

This year love looks like the elastic walls of our home,
stretching to include,
contracting to protect.

This year love looks like diagnosis and demand
for attention and accommodation,
and piles of printed paperwork.

This year love looks like miniature masks,
shots and side effects,
running through risks in my mind.

This year love looks hard.

It is a verb in the largest sense, 
service and serving, 
saving little.

But this year love looks forward
to new seasons and scenes,
like seeds sown and striving 
under heavy soil
towards the sky.

This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series “Love Looks Like”.

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