by JENN CARSON
Bow and arrow
My eldest son rolls with me
on the kitchen’s hardwood floor
and I pull him into a bow and arrow choke
start to squeeze for the submission
and he groans and giggles
hey it’s like being cuddled
and then oh no!—eyes widen
he gags—we let go
laugh and untangle limbs
I roll onto my shoulders
stack myself upside down against the kitchen counter
so he can’t see me cry
can’t ask mama are you hurt?
Jiu Jitsu arms us for life
cradled and safe and then suddenly bam!
choked by the same hands that
held us so warmly only moments before
Jenn Carson is a writer and librarian from New Brunswick. Her non-fiction includes Get Your Community Moving: Physical Literacy Programs for All Ages and Yoga & Meditation at the Library: A Practical Guide for Librarians. She has 28 poems included in Lunch, my favourite season (Atlantika). She was short-listed for the 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award and was nominated for the 2019 Best New Poets anthology. She won the 2019 Library Journal Movers & Shakers award for her physical literacy research and advocacy.