Michelle Petty-Grue

How it was

            Feel full             weight of body.
                           Feel pressure on my chest from
           purring cats named Anxiety and Depression.

           Being an early riser.
                       Force myself
                                 through morning routine
           because that’s what moms do.

           Temporarily feel something like
                       energy. Then           the inevitable
                       from working without

            Most days I eat
            dinner.                      Sometimes that’s
                       uneventful. Other times it’s a
            battlefield and I
                       don’t know

                                                               my help

            comes from.  

           I soak in the wonder of holding a
                       book, snuggled by a pajama-wrapped
           heartbeat that taps out morse code messages.

           Try to sleep the sleep of
                       someone who wants to 
           wake up.



Michelle Petty-Grue is an assistant teaching professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She researches higher education pedagogy and writing studies through the lenses of intersectionality and critical digital literacies. She has previously published in the fantasy journal Astral Waters Review, Spoken Black Girl Magazine, Zingara Poetry Review, the Expressionists Magazine of the Arts, and DASH Literary Journal. Feeding her creative energies and making space during motherhood and her professional life has been a challenging pleasure.