Single Mother

by Emily Schwarting

I wish I hadn’t been taught it was a crime

being poor,

taught not to notice the day the buds arrived

on the tips of trees

trained to disregard the buds

who bring February to its knees, I watch

I squint to see those buds out the window,

the window above my Landlord’s kitchen sink

my tears washing this dish, my tear’s invisible ink,

I curse myself for all the things I missed

avoiding the crime of being poor

cursing every minute of traffic

cursing every evening I arrived too late,

running from my car door, opening the gate

of a quiet school,

holding the cheeks of a small, round, expectant face,

cheeks soft on my palms

blue eyes blinking up

at me as if I were the Sun,

I curse myself for arriving too late.


Emily Schwarting is a single mother who lives just outside of Washington DC. She began to identify with anarchist political theory when first encountering the writings of Emma Goldman. Her poetry and her prose are strongly influenced by anarchism, Romanticism, motherhood, and the relationship between humans and nature. She also explores the concept of exile and return through the lens of her Latvian heritage. She is currently writing her first novel, a work of fiction with surreal elements.