Childless


The children pour in like a flood and I,
like floor boards, creak beneath
their magnificent weight,
an organ ready to burst thumps within me

I do not know what it is to breathe
without them, the children
who cast shadows that never move
from dusty spots within a nursery
of silent nightingales

Or maybe I do; I walk plague-like,
broken, between the layers of my body,
disfigured as flesh rots out of flesh
And look!

Another flood but this of red, not a stampede,
of little feet, but a pain that tramples
thoughtlessly, breaking things
not meant to be broken

I am a woman of lost time
a mother of dreams-really of nightmares--
that come in chills of sullen laughter
sinking in through the unpainted walls
of next room over

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