AS MOTHERS DO. | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Short Story - Death Bookmark and Share


Normally the sunlight
Would have warmed her

And made her happy and
Brought back all the fond

Memories of childhood
And playing out in fields

And climbing the trees
And sitting by the pond

Watching for fish. Now
She sits by the window

Looking out, the sunlight
Making no impression,

Conjuring no memories
Of childhood or games

Played, no sitting by ponds
Looking for fishes. He’ll

Be back putting on a brave
Face, shouldering the burden

Of the loss of baby and her
On the border of suicide mood.

She has the window open to
Allow in smells and sound

Of birds and fluttering flights
Of butterflies. The air is cool,

Not hot, she couldn’t bare that,
That heat, sticky, causing sweat

On brows and wet underarms.
She looks out, but sees nothing,

Nothing of interest, nothing to
Cause a rise of eyebrows or

Eyes to move in quick flicker.
She can see the sea over tree

Tops, hear gulls, smell salt.
She stood here with the baby

In her arms a day or so after
The birth and he was looking

Over her shoulder cooing to
The babe. Her arms are heavy

With the emptiness of loss.
Last night she dreamed she

Held her still and walked the
Room back and forth singing

Lullabies as mothers do.
Some days she closes her

Eyes and pretends the baby’s
There in her arms and she is

Rocking her to and fro to and
Fro and then she opens her eyes

And there’s nothing there, just
Emptiness riding through the air.

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