E
Jan/Feb 2001 Poetry

Two Poems

by Sarah Freeborn


 

Upon Losing a Child

Grief, my new lover,
puts me to bed at night
and wakes me in the morning.
He likes to keep me up late
and stir me early
so that we can spend
the entire day together.

Our breakfast consists of oatmeal,
mine with sugar, his plain,
he says he doesn't like
to sweeten things up.

Sometimes he goes out
all day saying he's
getting behind at work.
When he leaves,
I just sit
with my hard,
milk-filled breasts
on my blood-smeared sheets.

 

Mama's Promise

Expressionless,
she smoothes
the sheets of her
little boy's crib.
As she leaves
the room, she bends
down to blow out
the candle inside
the grinning
jack-o-lantern.

She sits
as the table
in the dining room
eating salted
pumpkin seeds
while blankly
staring at the
windows
she painted
on the walls.

She gazes
into the watercolored
cornfields ready
for harvesting.
At the acrylic
trees changing colors
in death's grip.
The oiled
sun spilling
light through
aquamarine skies.

She smiles
faintly while
remembering
her son
and the promise
she made not
to leave him
behind,
stillborn in October.

 

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