The Missing Women
Tatiana Forero Puerta

I used to have a career,
now I’m sequestered by a moat
of breast milk and dunes of diapers.
My hair is so knotted it’s home to that raccoon
that lived in the trash last week.

I used to stay up late to write.
Now I watch the dawn’s light
caress a little crying face
that looks just like mine.

In the delicate moments before the
clarity of day illuminates the roles we’ve chosen,
my son and I weep together

for all the missing women,
the ones who thought
they could keep themselves but
ended up with their shadows

on milk cartons, each day after
childbirth multiplying their sorrows,
counting their children’s breaths,
trading them in for their own.

Tatiana Forero Puerta’s poems have appeared in Licking River Review, Moon City Review Anthology, Juked, and elsewhere. She is a 2017 recipient of the Pushcart Prize, and nominee for Best of the Net Anthology. She holds a BA in philosophy and comparative religion from Stanford University and an interdisciplinary MA in philosophy and creative nonfiction from New York University. Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, she lives and teaches in NY.