1. It’s been a while since you visited the dentist.
  2. Some might say you’ve “let yourself go.”
  3. On a good day, you can engender the creation of a new life. On a bad day, your breasts swell like storm clouds. 
  4. Your most important possessions are your stove, broom, and mop.
  5. You are the keeper and releaser of children’s souls.
  6. You prefer eating off the land and have recently taken up gardening. Only what you can grown, gather, or disembowel. 
  7. You don’t know how much longer you can remain in forced hermitage with your small children before you end up eating them.
  8. People turn away in horror when they see your nose in public.
  9. You feed the whole world, but are yourself hungry.
  10. You just discovered 4,000,000,000 new gray hairs.
  11. You have no time for recipes. One-pot meals are where you’re at these days, preferably with bone broth.
  12. Your keen sense of smell allows for you to detect children, propane leaks, and shenanigans.
  13. The powers that be have imprisoned you with the beasts of your own making.
  14. You don’t know how much longer these legs can hold up before they buckle under pressure.
  15. You just want to be left alone.

Key:

Parenting small children during a pandemic: 1–15

Baba Yaga: 1–15

This piece was originally published on The Belladonna Comedy

One out of seven jobless, Venezuela size statistics,
but the Tongass is alive, listen—
 
the wilderness so thick, I could lean into this.
No helicopters to spoil, and there’s a 
part of me
 
that likes to do hard things— like fool 
myself
into jumping off this cliff sixty feet
 
into the drink, blue like a California sunset
reflected in a rear view mirror.
 
Hear the birds—  if they were words
they’d say gimme this, gimme that
 
so & so started it, and I don’t want you to die.
Word to your bird baby mama.
 
Oh wild wilderness, why do I love you
so fierce? Is it because I relinquish 
control,
 
is it because you show up in a flooded
beaver dam pool where you can’t tell
 
where the tree ends and its mirror 
begins—
the spider web that clings when you 
least expect it,
 
nurse log kind of love.
If it ain’t a good day I’m cryin’,
 
laughin’ and cryin’ at the same time,
inhaler in my pocket,
 
mask I’m rockin’
‘cause it’s not about me
 
this time— no one lives forever.
A girl cries every night,
 
she don’t want mama to die,
but I don’t wanna let it go yet
 
‘cause there’s still a part of me
that likes to do hard things.