Practice

Saturday & the weekend aides 

are helping your mother 

to the commode 

where she pisses & 

tells how she gave birth 

on Valentine’s. Is this 

what she’s been practicing for

all these years? This life—

rehearsal—for what? 

You’ve gone for coffee 

but return to catch the bit 

about your squalling arrival. 

You’ve always had good timing. 

What comes next is a night 

of suffering unwitnessed 

by you. I mean me. I mean, 

I haven’t practiced, for this.


Hannah Silverstein

Hannah Silverstein is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. A 2021 Best of the Net finalist, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Passengers Journal, Passages North, Barnstorm Journal, Dialogist, Orange Blossom Review, West Trestle Review, Cider Press Review, LEON Literary Review, Whale Road Review, and others. She lives in Vermont.