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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)

TITLE: Ex Vitro
By JoAnne Potter
04/30/08


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More than anything else, I remember your heartbeat. It tapped out everything I knew of time in perfect repetition and provided counterpoint to my own heart’s unpracticed flutters. It framed every experience. I slept and woke, smiled, cringed, and kicked by its echoing sentry.

Around. Behind. Before.

I remember, too, how you moved. Sometimes, you rolled smooth and even, like a ship that rises with the tall front of a wave, then recedes after it. Other times, the rolling accelerated to wild heaves, bearing me up in sweet suspense, then down to a soft stop. I liked the rhythm of your slow sway best, though. It swelled my world to easy crescendo, spreading the enchantment of a new tempo against your faithful heart. In these times, arms still denied, you rocked me.

Secure. Awake. Alive.

The end came without warning. I never knew warmth until cold grabbed me, never comfort before the pain. The hot gush of salt water preceded rude, red blood. Skin burned raw. Sinew tore from bone. Brain pierced. Flutters ceased.

Alone. Apart. Undone.

I like heaven. I know new light here, and familiar music, and bright joy unmarked by regret. I walk in fragrant communion with Lord and saint. I do think of you sometimes, though, and wonder about what we could have discovered together, how we might have flown or danced. I would have liked to touch your skin, or hear your quiet breath, to see your tears, or break my long silence to call you….

Mother.


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This article has been read 388 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Faire Stewart05/01/08
Oh my! I'll still in tears. Your descriptions are so vivid I could feel the pain. The last paragraph is wonderful!
LauraLee Shaw05/02/08
Poetic, sorrowful, emotional, gripping. WEll done.
Chely Roach05/03/08
Heartwrenchingly gripping, and cruelly true. Well done...
nicole wian05/05/08
Amazing writing, and yes, heartwrenching.
Holly Westefeld05/06/08
I was so hoping this was a memory after the transition of birth, but the heart-wrenching conclusion is the story of millions of babies around the world each year.
Jeffrey Snell05/07/08
The child's pain ends, the mother's goes on. Another excellent portrayal of reality for those fantasizing about freedom from responsibility and pain.
Tami Arellano06/18/08
This was a short article but there is one word for it-rich. It is the kind of writing that you go back and read three or four times to let it all sink in. I had an emotional reaction to it immediately. This was awesome and I look forward to reading more. (This is Tami Arellano. I finially signed up here and submitted some poetry already!)