Two Children

Photo by Fallon Michael via Unsplash

This poem was written when my children were very young and my fear of losing them, all-consuming. Over the years, this fear has morphed into something I can live with. Sometimes it’s a mere worry, a claw of unease scratching between my shoulder blades. Other times, it becomes deep anguish, growing out of proportion like wildfire. Perhaps this is what it means to be a parent–along with the bone-melting joy of perpetuating life, you get to worry about all the things that could harm your children out there, in the carnivorous world.

Two Children

They are asleep now, 
neatly folded in their dreams, 

two newborn calves 
in their milk-white cauls. 

All the blood
has been licked off. 

They rest, happy in this
near-death as they were

in my womb. I rattle
the cage of their sleep,

fearful to lose them
to that other woman,

dark, barren, greedy for fruit
she never bore.

Their cries fill my ears
with peace and with pride.

They are my children.
They know how to raise hell. 

Morning blooms cruel 
like a torch on the windowsill.

First published in Mom Egg Review, HOME issue 18, Spring 2020

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