Motherless by Michael DeMaranville


He stirs

bare head thrashing,

cotton pillow shrinking in with fear

at every toss of his tender touch.


Pull the blanket up,

gentle tap; rap-a-tap-tap on the back,

coo a lullaby, soft,

but it is too late, he knows.


My hands give it away.

Too big to caress such fragile features,

too rough to calm my sleeping child.

He wakes, wide-eyed in terror wild.


Midnight’s moonlight

cuts through the curtain corner

confirming her absence felt

grey-blue shadows shrouded, now melt.


Vice like fingers grasp to me

unrelenting to pleas,

he drags me through each empty room reliving –

she’s gone. She’s gone!

Forehead to forehead

cheeks softened and swollen

his wails echoing off the walls

lamenting our loss.



Michael DeMaranville currently works as an English teacher in Shanghai, China. He loves to read almost as much as he loves to write and through struggle always finds time for these two.