“You plan, you design, you labor,” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 16, 2019
5 minutes
An Absorbing Errand
Janna Malamud Smith

It’s the morning but still dark
too dark, not dark enough
you are awake but not fully here
the city looks quiet, still asleep
too asleep, not asleep enough
there is a small light from the
couch lighting up words written
and bound together with money
you are planning the next one
and this one but you are not fully here
the yellow glow pulls at the aching bone
and you must either ignore it or join it

how does one become as yellow as this light?
how does one join something that hurts?
It’s the morning but still night
too night, not night enough
you are writing and you are wondering
but you are not fully here
you are in a day one week from now
two weeks from now and you are planning
and designing and wondering about what
they will all be like when they meet
themselves on the page that you laboured on

It’s the morning but not a warm spring
it’s the morning but not a conscious howl
it’s the morning but you are still dreaming
now writing out your dreams so they shake
free from your writing bone and keep
the light from pulling

“The courage that my mother had” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday September 10, 2019
5 minutes
The courage that my mother had
Edna St. Vincent Millay

They all bet on her, did you know that?
She was the quietest one and they all
put down their twenty-dollar bills with
confidence. “She’s going to be last.”

When my mother was in labour with my
brother, nobody saw it coming. She is
not the kind of person to screech or
claw, but she will sit softly on the
edge of her heart being thrust into
outer space, into another dimension.

She has always been this way,
underestimated, as though physical
size were an indication of anything.
She did not complain. Not when her
head was throbbing, or her knee
threatened to make her sorry she
ever tried to walk. Not when her
knuckles furled in on themselves,
not when she was giving birth to
all three of us.

She simply did it. Quietly.
And I did not inherit that
from her.

When the nurses found out that my
mother was the first of all the
labouring mothers to deliver,
they yelled at her.
“You just lost me twenty bucks,

“Read. Think.” By Julia at her desk

Monday December 7, 2015
5 minutes
Edible Magazine

Okay so remember when I told you that my horoscope for yesterday told me to avoid confrontation at all costs? Well I swear to God I should have listened because it was RIGHT, Leah. It was the freakiest thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I go to the grocery store off 24th every Wednesday, right? Like clockwork or whatever, it’s like, that’s my routine. But my credit card wasn’t working for some reason and like, I use it there every single time so I was starting to think it was the machine’s fault, you know? Anyway so as I’m telling this to the pregnant girl behind the counter, who is supposed to know me so well by now cause I’m like always in there, regular customer, no surprises, I bring my own bags, whatever, she starts breathing super heavily like what I’m saying to her is giving her a panic attack. And honestly I wasn’t being like, super mean, but I also, honestly, wasn’t being super nice, just cause it’s so weird for this thing not to work and like I have stuff to do so I’m getting a bit anxious, you know, just a typical reaction based on the situation, right? And as I’m like, look lady, I’m telling you it’s not my card, SHE STARTS GOING INTO LABOUR.