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Mother This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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You were in the dirt when I found you.
Scrambling and crying and
So many adjectives to describe a newborn
And I can never even think of a word
To describe
How I'm doing.

I picked you up and carried you home.
Your mother didn't want you anymore.
But I wondered
If cats were capable
Of feeling sad.
Since you are still her baby.
I'm still my mother's baby.

I stayed up with you all night.
I fed you
And kept you warm
And when you meowed
It sounded like

“Mom mom mom”
I said, “Hush baby, I'm here”
Even though your ears were closed.

I watched you as you slept
And I wondered what you dreamed about.
I believe you dreamed
Of being in your mother's womb
Before the world got to you.
I have nightmares
About losing my teeth, most nights.
But that night I willed myself
Not to let you die.

The next morning came without me noticing
And your eyes were shut tight.
Maggots ate the flesh
You only wore for the night.
I tried to put you out of your misery
Because I wish some people would do the same
For me.
But I couldn't.

I wasn't strong enough.
I cried for you because
I felt like your mother.
Like my mom.

I left you in the dirt where I found you.
And fought the truth
For you.
Because you were only a baby.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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