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  You could have a big dipper   

Combat Boots by Beth Mulcahy

My daughter wrestles on her first pair of combat boots for seventh grade

I tell her how my mother hated mine

Aren’t those heavy? She would ask Don’t they weigh you down?

I didn’t get it.

I wrote in my diary how my boots gave me a firm foundation feeling

of strength to walk around on

like confidence

Her hands busy with the black buckles, laces, and hooks, my daughters says

there’s a poem there

I wonder if she’s teasing

We always joke that I see poems everywhere

She pauses, pushes up the sleeves of her oversized flannel

looks at me, her sincere eyes the same bright brown as mine

She guides a stray strand of the thick red hair she got from me, behind her ear

holds my gaze

nods at my unspoken wondering

There’s a poem here

She gets it.


Beth Mulcahy (she/her), a Gen X-er from Michigan, lives in Ohio with her husband, two kids and loyal Havanese dog sidekick. Beth works for a company that provides technology to people without natural speech. She writes poetry, fiction, memoir, and dreams about visiting Scotland. Her work has appeared in various journals. Check out her latest publications at

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