Photography © Jennifer Matthews



Mother made my bed
for me
grumbling I was not
neat enough
and I do the same
the cycle repeats
Mother daughter
Mother son
yet lessons are earned
from experience
each generation tinkers
tools of parenthood evolve
I allow an untidy bed self-made
and watch my boy
arrive closer to perfection
in daily decimal degrees.

It is such fun
to shape a human life
in miniature motion
creating a portal
safer more predictable
into an adulthood
I won’t get to see.
I wonder, what he will be.
On good days I imagine
A bearded captain Haddock
downing a drink,
and gruffly swearing,
“Billions of….Bazhi Bazouks”
Or something like it.


“Billions of Bazhi Bazouks” a typical swear word for Captain Haddock in Tin Tin comics


Amrita Valan is a writer from India with a published book of 50 poems on love and loss titled Arrivederci and a collection of 17 short stories titled In Between Pauses. She has had poems and short stories published in online journals and anthologies. She won a jury award from the Friendswood Ekphrastic Poetry contest in 2021.

Poet/Photographer Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.