“To be…or not to be…that is the suggestion” implied by this most recent addition to our family of contest entries.
I have been pre-occupied of late with the arrival of my granddaughter, Catalina. This piece by Kyle Katz makes me wonder what thoughts we all have when we are still within the womb, when thoughts do not have vocabulary. I am in the half of the population that will never know what it’s like to carry a baby, to feel what only a mother can feel. Empathy fails us. How can we males even imagine what it’s like? Kyle Katz offers us some clues.
by Kyle Katz
I heard you whisper to the night, thinking the dark had the power to abort me from your horrid memory.
I felt your crushing pain shooting up your legs as you dropped onto the cold floor, kneeling before God, pleading to have mercy on you.
You heard my heartbeat.
My soul felt your glimmer of happiness knowing I was a girl. I heard you talking to terminate or put me up for adoption. You wanted no reminder of lost love. He was your everything. He was my father.
I felt your torment. I felt everything you felt but somehow I knew I could make you love again.
The nausea made me think that you wanted to spew me from your gut. I wanted a life with you.
I tossed and turned, making imprints inside your belly. I wanted you to notice me.
The morning sun tackled your depression. I thought things were getting better.
I heard you laughing and singing, pumping your life’s blood to the roots so my branches would flourish.
Yet you wailed into the night demanding I’d be void— stillborn.
I lay quietly, not to upset you. I prayed to let you see the beauty I would bring you… but it was too late.
I felt the trembling gun and cold metal burrowing down your mouth.
“NO MOTHER DON’T!”
I kicked violently until I cracked open the light. Redemption’s breath rose, filling our nostrils with faith.
My soul whispered, “I love you and together we could create small miracles of forgiveness.”
One final push. I breathed the same air you breathed now.
I cried; you held me close to your breast.
You kissed me on the forehead.
“We’ll create miracles, Mary Elizabeth.”
Thank you mother… thank you.
Twenty years later my Dad finally received the Purple Heart for his service to our country.
Mom was appointed global ambassador for her work and dedication for GWWC
Grieving Widows of War–Torn Countries.
She never remarried.
Presenting Catalina (Sully) Cramer, born February 19th.