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.
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.