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by Charity Reed
My mother may as well have been dead
The first moments of my life.
She never pushed. Not even once.
But she pushed and pushed from that day on.
I lie still and know
I’m breathing.
Thoughts land on my mind
          And die from the heat
                     there—the light
Too lazy to hold anything long.
No need to push
The world in motion. No reason
To move. To stare at the lamp
          until my eyes are red with tears,
To twirl my hair between
My fingers—I’m sixteen again—to feel
          the weight of a white
Ceiling in focus and out.
It must have been this way
          when my mother was nearly
Dying and I was nearly
Living, face up in the doctor’s hands. Then I saw
The blood, and that was when
I started screaming,
          all the red of life
          out of focus. The white
          irreparably. No record of us to keep.