Once a couple of years ago, my partner’s kids

gave me a card for mother’s day. This year

they didn’t, caught up in their lives as they are,

their mum (their real mum) in turmoil. My role

to make sure they don’t forget about her, to be

careful to make my opinions fit into the puzzle

she has laid out for all of us. Did your mum say 

this was okay? To believe. To make sure they make 

her day special. I do not get a day. I am not a mum.


I didn’t wish my mum a happy mother’s day

this year: she doesn’t recognize me anymore, tells me

about her kids in a vague sort of way like you do

with strangers, leaving the heat out of it. I am

extravagantly sad that my insides are full of fibroids,

unmarked by tiny fetal handprints. Mum

I imagine these flesh jelly beans not whispering, 

their translucent lips pressed against the inside 

of my belly. Mum. These not-babies getting quieter.

Margret Bollerup lives in a tiny shack on top of a mountain in Chilliwack, British Columbia, where she mostly just complains about cows mooing too loudly. Her work has appeared in The Antigonish Review and Poetry Is Dead, and is forthcoming in Maisonneuve.