Another Mother by Dennis Etzel

 (two excerpts from “Another Mother”)me-insta


the new neighbor asks how my aunt is feeling


I stop


how would she know my aunt, as we never see her


and it is my other mother who is sick


she questions, as if my mothers are two sisters


who live together


raise children


share a bed


not sisters Gertrude Stein says


my mother not mother but mother



as one mother is a nurse the other is a counselor


a kind of therapy down the middle


one for the mind the other for the body


I help them sharpen that double-edged axe


for gardens for protection


each job a work of resistance


against grindstones

~ Dennis Etzel

Dennis Etzel Jr. lives with Carrie and the boys in Topeka, Kansas. He has an MFA from The University of Kansas, and an MA and Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies from Kansas State University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, BlazeVOX, Fact-Simile, 1913: a journal of poetic forms, 3:AM, DIAGRAM, and others. He teaches English at Washburn University, is the Managing Editor of Woodley Press, and volunteers at the YWCA’s Center for Safety and Empowerment.

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