Poetry Pause: Shannon Bramer — White Paper Birds

Poem Author: Shannon Bramer Poem title: White Paper Birds Poem: Sometimes you have to breastfeed your kid even when you don’t feel like breastfeeding your kid. Near the end of her feed she pulls off to look at you with her round eyes and you don’t look away. Sometimes you have to sing your kid to sleep even when you don’t feel up to any song. When you put her down she cries, she always cries. You pick her up when you are a piece of glass. You kiss her and kiss her and pick her up and put her down and kiss her again like a wolf. You are a real mother. You don’t kick or break any toys on purpose. And you don’t scream and you don’t weep. Your baby grows. You’ve got a shiny red shovel for all your shitty feelings. You’ve got a daughter with a broken lip where she’s been biting down. The house is full of nests. Tiny piles of torn newsprint, a million crumpled swans swimming down the stairs. Another life folded inside each paper bird. End of poem. Credits: Copyright © Shannon Bramer Originally published PRECIOUS ENERGY (Book*hug, September 2017) Shannon Bramer is an author of poems, plays and short fiction. Her recent work includes Precious Energy (Book*hug, 2017) and Climbing Shadows: Poems for Children, illustrated by Cindy Derby. She has published a number of poetry collections and chapbooks, winning the Hamilton and Region Best Book Award for suitcases and other poems. Shannon’s plays include Chloe’s Tiny Heart Is Closed (for young audiences) and The Hungriest Woman in the World. A trilogy of her plays, TRAPSONGS, is forthcoming from Book*hug in September 2020. She lives with her family in Toronto.