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Jett Superior laid this on you on || June 17, 2003 || 10:54 am

“Mama be riiiight back,” the nurse kept cooing at him, and I wanted to tell her to stop lying: Stop lying to that child!

The only people I’d seen accompanying him in the four hours at the emergency room were a lanky, dirty father and a filthy, pot-bellied brother of three. The baby kept calling to his mama and the nurse kept lying and I wanted to burst through the accordion partition in the emergency bay to scoop the infant up, to hug him close to my breast and murmur, lips on salty, feverish skin, that I was here to care for him now and not even the whole world in all its weighted misery could wedge its way between us.

I ached to hold that baby as he bobcat-wailed in terror, to place my palm protectively across the back of his head, fingers splayed, his white curls escaping between them. How many times had I held my own towheads in such a fashion, singing Irish rounds or sweet Italian love songs to them?–dispelling, if not the pain, then the fear, because what fear can stand against a mother’s embrace? What fever or infection dare creep forward?

Over and over he cried out, over and over there were periods of silent respite, over and over there was the prelude of gentle cooing and promising a mama who wasn’t showing and would they –oh, would they?– think me so very crazy if I just appeared in the doorway, silent and with arms out? Each time a sorrowed hiccuping rose into that fevered bobcat-cry I ached, wanting to abate that baby’s misery.

Even, wantonly and foolishly, wanting to take him home with me to nightly baths and a symphony of child-laughs and all the hugs he could stomach and a seemingly infinite supply of popsicles….

To a place where he could holler mama and one would always be there to look in his eyes so as to divine the trouble, who would fold him in her arms and shoo it away.

1 worked it out »

  1. I miss my mum


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