Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Nursery" by Catherine A.G. Bayly

"Mama is sitting on the floor of the baby’s room. She was a girl. I can tell partly by the walls, dripping the heavy sad color of overripe peach flesh, and the pastel butterflies floating like sky above the empty white crib. Mama’s arms are empty, as she holds onto what I guess must be an invisible baby. What she is doing is not quite cradling. Not per se. For every so often, Mama’s arms tear out in front of her and she grapples with the empty twilight for something only she seems to see.

It was not long ago that my mama was happy. You see, my mother was swollen. With happiness, that is. More often than even she would admit, I saw Mama’s eyes well with tears. She looked at me. My father. Or at her belly protruding, full of what I can only assume was something that gave her unsurpassed joy and overtook her with a love that caused her to stroke it gently, father to kiss it, and the two of them to talk and read to it incessantly as if it were something surely more than just blood and bone. But, it is spring now, and I am sure that life is just a phantom. I just know I have never seen her."

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