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Poetry: Widow Mother

Widow Mother by Lucia May

I was sure there had been a crime and coverup.

I was nine months pregnant

standing in a hospital corridor,

but not to have the baby.

A doctor told me that my husband was dead.

I thought to bargain with God
but I had an ultrasound photo
and she, kicking in my ribs,
had a name.

A nurse said, “When you’re thrown

in the water you have no

choice but to swim.”
To me at 23, it sounded profound
even without music and lighting
but I still smelled him on my hands.

I bought a pack of cigarettes,

went home, and waited

ten days for labor.
I pretended that her birth

would trump him

while I traced his lips and ears on her.

He stayed, not having the modesty to leave

us alone as she bit my engorged breast.

The shower steamed and pounded

to let down her milk,

a spray of hot tears

mixing with new blood.

 

All rights reserved to Lucia May

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