F. S. Symons
Today she feels heavy—very heavy,
the child in her belly like a lead balloon.
Around her, the same dirt, same sharp rocks, same
glaring sun as the last trailer park,
same social workers kicking up the dust.
She lets herself outside with her dog,
her half-wolf only friend.
Teetering in the blistering sun,
rings swimming before her eyes and
off in the distance, fleeting silhouettes,
maybe children, the supermarket
or cars, it’s hard to tell.
Through her dazed eyes, sparks burst
forth from the leaves, the stones,
even from the end of each of her nails.
Finally she stumbles back inside, then
the waters seep out beneath her and she falls
whimpering, unable to walk, the waves of pain
the loneliness filling up the mobile home,
spreading in terrifying silence.
Opening knees, her arms hugging her watermelon belly,
holding it in like a belt. Slowly, instinctively,
her arms begin kneading, doing their work
of expulsion, forcing long, feverish chills
through her limbs. Then suddenly,
she’s no longer alone—the baby at her breast.
The dog’s eyes shine out
into the shadows like two stars, as if their light
were enough to keep the world at bay.