• Vol. 05
  • Chapter
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Separation Anxiety

You always thought your lap wide enough to hold her,
the heft of her young body, folded into your linen-clad curves.
Mother and child. Heads bent together, the same shy eyes,
four hands stamped with your own mother's fingerprints.
Her chubby legs trembled, tired out when you left her
by the pool. You only went to get a towel, to wrap her safe.

Two minutes, maybe less, before the splashes drowned you.
You ran and ran, yet stood stock still, limbs of lead. Splintered
heart carved up with dread. Your motherhood sank down,
flailed to death by empty arms and lap wrapped in linen cloth.

Your wet, blinded eyes, felt a deft stroke, pools wiped dry.
Your daughter's voice, tender and concerned, went on to say,
'Mama, please don't weep, I'm happy. I learnt to swim today.'