“Dear Instagram” by Richelle Buccilli

Richelle Buccilli


moms, scrolling at naptime, or let’s be honest,
scattered among the toys freshly dumped


as he moves on now to couch pillows, tossed
on the rug to dive headfirst onto, I’m wanting


to be like you: nearly perfect and organized,
with colorful ideas, impeccable backdrops,


every photograph aesthetically pleasing
to the eye—where do you find such figurines


for your Montessori matching games, link to
your son’s denim shorts please, can you please share


the color of your walls, your house is house GOALS—
or brave enough to bare my worst days,


the mom who films herself on TikTok, admits 
she doesn’t like playing with her toddler, 


why should she hand her husband a diaper
when no one is handing her diapers all day? 


reading the caption of a birth announcement
that mom and baby are doing amazing,


how she lists what she remembers from 
early postpartum: couldn’t sit, bleeding everywhere,


burns to pee, anxiety, no sleep, swollen nipples
what part of us do I show the world?


When I stop for a look, the bathroom mirror
foggy with steam, afternoon light spilling in 


like a flame, I like to tell myself it’s this: 
my toddler filling small cups with bathwater,


his face and arms only seconds ago smeared 
with yogurt and peanut butter, somewhere


downstairs the painting has still fallen from the wall,
red play dough sits out as it hardens, orange peels 


lay like curled ribbons on the kitchen floor.
My phone beside me, I take a photograph of


my son and me, our reflection in the bathroom mirror,
smiling to prove it. 

from Rattle #78, Winter 2022


Richelle Buccilli: “The early years of staying at home with young children can be both beautiful and brutal, and sometimes social media only shows what’s beautiful. However, social media has also begun showing more of the realities of parenthood. I’m thankful for this. Similarly, poetry helps me share my own genuine experiences as a mother. I can’t wait to share these poems with my children someday.” (web)

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