The mother of the child holds the little
burning body in her shaking hands
“Hey little one.
Don’t be in such a hurry to leave me, little one,”
She whispers in that voice
that women have for children
A voice that asks and humors all at once
A voice that no man can make
You in there?”
Her voice takes on an edge
“Please . . . please . . . please . . .
God I know you’re busy
God I know I can’t command you
I can’t bribe you or make a deal
what can I trade that you don’t already have?
Please don’t be mad at me
but you have got to know that I can’t just sit here
I have to say something
please do something.
I know you know what I’m going through
because you watched your son die.”
“I do not presume to tell you what to do
but please do not let this little one pass . . .
We have so many things to do.
Christmas and cookies
Springtime and brightly colored kites
dating and college . . .please . . .please.”
And she weeps through the night