Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

A Mother's Dream, 1986

A Mother's Dream, 1986

By Ellen Gilchrist

I travel around in time.
I can stop parties.
I can stop everyone from getting drunk
all the time.

I’m so powerful. I say, no, tomorrow
is my birthday. I don’t want to wake up
in a sea of cigarettes and ashtrays.
I take the car keys.
If they drink they can not drive.
I keep the babies with me.
Not in this room, I say, and turn the lights out.

They have a parade outside my windows,
beer, ice, all that stuff, cymbals and drums.
I am alone and free. No, I’m wonderful.
They love me. I can keep them safe.
I can keep them from blowing up the world,
or the school cafeteria.

© 1986 by Ellen Gilchrist; Reprinted by permission of Ellen Gilchrist and Don Congdon Associates, Inc.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 60, No. 1 (Spring 1986), p. 21


Ellen Gilchrist

Ellen Gilchrist, winner of the National Book Award for Victory Over Japan, is the author of more than twenty books, including novels, short stories, poetry, and a memoir. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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