I used to weep for women who whispered 'just a mom' at parties or in libraries or in dark bars listening to slow jazz having escaped to sit alone, as if those three words were an apology for their existence, their presence, their appearance, even. and now I know the truth. like a reckoning it washed over me, and I hear it now in the silence which lingers after that little phrase. just a mom, we say. because it would be an endless, exhaustive, and breathtaking feat to say instead the mountains we've moved in the last hour. to name the hearts which are tucked beneath our ribs, living off our blood and beauty. to catalog the innumerable invisible wounds we have healed by our mere presence. to detail the iterations of our very being that have taken form at one point and can be called upon in a moment. to adequately own the intuitive connection which binds us to our creations, these small samplings of our souls set free to roam the earth. listen for the fierce and magical women who brush aside inquiries with a simple just a mom, and in the breath that hangs after, hear the earth bow.