Conversation With A Five-Year-Old
by Shannon Cavanaugh

What’s that?

That’s mama’s belly button.

What’s wrong with it?


Why does it look like that?

Well, after mamas have babies…
Um, like when a balloon loses its air…
Or, uh…

Mama, did the doctor pull us out your belly button?

(smile) No.

How did we get out?

(think, think, think)

How did we get in?

(think, think, think)


(think, think, think)
(think some more)

(intense impatience)
Where did we come from?!?!

(think, think, think)

There’s an egg, some sperm and love…
(do over)
The wings of a dove…
(do over)
You were in the stardust, love – a twinkle in my eye.*


Mama, if-god-created-all-people-and-god-is-Jesus-what-about-all-the-people-who-came-before-Jesus?

Sweetheart, mommy is falling asleep. Let’s talk about god in the morning.


Because we already talked about my belly button.

(furrowed brow, quizzical expression)
(smooth, trusting eyes and smile)
K. ‘Night, mama.

Sweet dreams.
I love you.


*Consider seriously before using this one. My boys all think they were in my eye before they were in my uterus.

Shannon is stay at home mom of three little boys.  Between wiping their various body parts and playing helpless animals in their games of 'Predator and Prey', she blogs at themildlyinterestingcaseofbanana.  Shannon has a BA in Psychology that was enjoyable to acquire but has otherwise gone unused.  She is also a dancer, having taught and performed her whole life; she feels like she’s dancing when she writes. Her works are also forthcoming in a future publication of The Battered Suitcase and at voxpoetica.com.  Shannon was amazed by the first issue of Ramshackle Review and is thrilled to be a contributor to the second.

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