Dead-Quiet This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 30, 2010
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You were tranquil.
The baby that never cried,
I could imagine my mother saying,
as she folded away
the lopsided things she knit for you.

A blessing
I could see it in the nurses’ eyes
as they held you, dead-quiet.

They observed the skin that spread
from my naked index finger
to the unwrinkled corners of my eyes.
They considered the absent rising of your chest,
made a judgement with pursed lips.

Here was God at last
sick sentiments of their ancestors
all in my best interests.

Silent, would-be child of mine
your accidental beginning
made your false delivery
no less bitter to swallow.
No easier to endure
this dead-quiet.

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