Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
It Could Be Me

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In my dreams it is dusk
and a little girl sits
in the summer grass with me.
My own little brown-eyed girl.
I'd be lying if I said
I don't see myself in her.
I have made her.
I do not know at this point
where my creation ends and I begin.

The sky turns pink just for her.
The summer lake of my childhood is still at last.

I wake up and the doctor
standing over me says,
No heart beat.
I do not hear a heartbeat.
How can that be?
We were just now together in the cool grass,
one little hand in mine,
the other clutching morning glory.
Seven months. A little girl.
A little girl inside of me.
She's dead, the doctor says.
But I have to push and breathe
and open my legs and bring her forth. And I do.
This is no flower in bloom.
I am a nutcracker crushing the soft flesh
between my legs. Cutting the cord
connecting us
seems pointless. She is already gone.
She will never be gone.

My pink sky fades to night.
Not one star lights my way home.

Give her to me, a woman screams,
and I think it's me.
It could be me.
My husband nods.
They bring her to me
washed clean of my blood.
Across my breast
a perfect baby girl with five fingers
on each hand, hands made
for holding mine and
picking morning glory.
I kiss her head, her fine, black hair
and sing "Hush, Little Baby"
though she's not crying.
Tell me now of creation.

What amazes me
with my empty womb
and swollen, longing breasts
is that the summer grass still grows.


Margaret MacInnis has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Queens University of Charlotte, NC, and she will be a fellow at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City. Her poetry has appeared in Lyric, and she has a piece forthcoming in Brevity, An Online Journal of Literary Nonfiction. She has written a memoir called Nothing Left to Burn, and is actively searching for an agent.


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