Sharon Frame Gay
She’s nestled in the space between heartbeats, a ghost child who never grew up. We had such a short visit with her, the memory now tucked into boxes along with little sweaters, booties.
I’m exhausted and watch a woman slouching on the bench opposite me who is seated next to five small children dressed in colorful knit sweaters and stacked like a pile of books, one on top of the other. The smallest child, just a bundle in a yellow knit tumbles off the top as the bus slows and starts with a jerk. I catch the baby before she lands on the floor of the bus. The woman doesn’t react…
It has occurred to me, it is a recurring thought, even, that the brisket weighs the same as Lily. Nine pounds, three ounces.
Is this what perfect mothers do? Look like deranged, ecstatic Moonies who can’t seem to leave their kids alone? Is this what I signed up for?
I sprinted into the house and made the call. I remember desperately wishing my mother was there.
In her twenties, Emily can’t picture becoming a mother. She doesn’t want a life like her own mother’s—to settle, or settle down.
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