Poetry: Primary Parent by Gillian Thomas

Photo by Kalea Jerielle

It’s stark—
the difference between us.
What I grew, too heavy
to lift, to carry. To remain
in this cast, I’m the supporting player
not his life’s star or center.
You—humble and reserved, loving
the attention; Me
proud          audacious   fierce   loud
yet wilted at the edges
all around.

Against the grain
of biology’s notes and lies
Against chromosomes assigned—
at his birth, dry-eyed, I
vacated as you sobbed at the sight,
your one-note instincts came to
life; scooped our creation and
blew right past me
and just like that—

Catch me if you can
Is that the game?
I wait to grow wings
the sheer span of the things, stretched
from my shoulders with brackets attached
colossal white feathers emerge wide
from my back, downy-plush glory
expansive and vast. My arms now
supplemented, set to engulf
my legs sprout hawk’s feet, clawed
Mother-bird, divine; I watch
from high windows
as you play in the grass, and springing
from pane, swooping downward I grasp
a young frame in sharp talons
flying off with the prize,
finally above you
with what’s rightfully mine.

Gillian Thomas is a Washington, DC area writer and mother to her 7-year old son. A graduate of New York City’s Hunter College, Thomas received her bachelor’s degree in English and Theater before first being published in the journal The Iconoclast. She now works from home, writing and sharing parenting duties with her significant other, Mathematics Professor Jaison Novick. Thomas’ work can next be seen in a forthcoming issues of Pembroke and Gargoyle. 

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