Tina Kelley



After two miscarriages, after eight and a half months,
at thirty-seven, she was ready to believe in hope.
Birds on the nest will sing soft whisper songs.
I love you in my sleep, she said to him.

Devotion precedes acquaintance, knowledge, senses, and she is proof.
But one night his motion, which always started when hers stopped,
was gone. The doctors did not know why. The labor would be induced
in the joyful ward full of balloons and pastel flannel.

There is no comfort,
no soothing sentences,
no sentences possible,
only vowels.

He was perfect, a small wick, the flame elsewhere.

A portrait done by a novice, without that white dot in the eye.

A carousel horse, frozen with elegant curl, not moving as he was moved in a spiral

from hand to hand, away to the never after. Can deafness come from crying too loud?

He became a stain, the eerie dark presence in a house that has had a fire or a burglar,

a house with ghosts in the daytime. You are my favorite among the dead, she said,

worn childless mother, beginning a nap, then feeling

her cane toppling away. She lunges for it, falling.


Copyright 2002 Tina Kelley.  All Rights Reserved.

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