The New Model

by Jennifer Lynn Krohn

Again, we woke up to a new mother.
Father, what happened to the old mother?

This one’s better!  A brand new model!
            Cutting edge!

The stranger served us dinner, put us to bed.
The next morning a new new woman woke us.

Each missing mother left behind clues:
          a black silk dress,
          a white tennis shoe,
          a cook book with copious notes,
          a half knitted sock,
          a butterfly knife,
          a book with a shirtless man on the cover.

We hid these mementos under our beds
next to our journals and girlie mags.

We wrote a list of names
but could never remember any of theirs.

We just called them mom.
We didn’t ask them
          their favorite color.
          their favorite film.
          their favorite song.

We didn’t ask if they had brothers, sisters,
          parents of their own.

When we tried to file a missing persons’ report,
the policeman called our house and said

I have your mother on the phone.

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