My Baby, Napping
In his government-approved crib,
my son sleeps. A mobile spins,
plays soft music. Shelves hold books,
stuffed animals, outgrown clothes.
(Far away, a militia forces
village children into a hut.
Parents hear screams. Later
they find heads in a burlap bag.)
Waiting for my son to wake, I cry for them.
How can I love him while others suffer?
(And the awful relief:
My son is not one of them.
My son is safe.)
Tess Thompson has published fiction in Seventeen, Literary Mama, and Rosebud magazines and poetry in ByLine, Calyx, Philadelphia Stories, Tempus, and the Oxford/Cambridge Mays Anthology for Poetry. She has a master’s degree in English Studies from Oxford, and a master’s of public health from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives with her family in Missouri, where she is currently a doctoral student in social work at Washington University in St. Louis.
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