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Brain Mothers


Dura mater, the durable mother,

dusky yellow tough as bone,

a layer that resists the scalpel’s slice

and encases delicate soul inside.

It’s a mother’s arms that guard and hold

against winds battering her cracked stone keep,

with ivy torn by forces that stun

and would reduce us to dust scattering

whisper-gold in the setting sun.

She is my fiercest protector, my port in the storm,

a reed that will snap before she bends

if it means I will grow in her stead.

I know she will shelter me

as long as she is able to.

Arachnoid mater, the spider mother,

cobwebbed maroon crossing transparent film,

draining fluid that cushions but in excess might drown

me in the weight of dreams that shine too bold.

It’s a mother that tempers our wildest natures,

placid as a mirror lake, with willow trees

swaying in the gentle breeze.

Dawn dances on her waters,

iridescent drops adorning gilded lotus

nestled amidst the lily pads.

Once, I couldn’t wait to spill past her banks

and carve my own path through the rough-hewn rock.

But as I rush forth, she’s splitting streams,

linking tributaries that flow to me,

so if I falter I can return along brooks

and gullies she’s carved through stone.

Like spider threads converging,

all her rivers lead to home.

Pia mater, the tender mother,

thinner than paper, awash with blood

vessels carrying life to mind.

It’s a mother’s heart that nurtures and shapes,

pressing stars to strength,

moonlight to memories within my marrow,

building me with tales of the night’s silver gleam

on lands and people I have never seen.

And when I shatter, she’s there to pick up the pieces,

hands them back to me

so I can put myself together

the way she once forged

with a love so fierce it burned fire to bone.

She holds me closer than membrane to gyri,

in warmth as eternal as the endless mind.

Mira Jiang is a high school senior from Coppell, Texas. Her work has been published by or is forthcoming in publications such as Flash Fiction Online, Paper Lanterns, and Hobart and recognized by the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest and the Geek Partnership Society. She can often be found reading in trees or dancing in empty studio rooms.

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