A mother on raising sons.

My first was stillborn,

My cries carried across the fields on the cusp of a winter storm

The snow lay thick on the ground,

I lay like a mewling ewe and cradled her in my arms

Before the long walk home.

 

There were others, each swelling of my belly a signal of his pervasive masculinity.

Three brothers followed by a changeling child and so we were cast aside forced to live as outcasts

I moved boulders and stones and tilled the soil, back-breaking into the dead of night

A bairn on my back and another one snug as a bug deep inside.

He couldn’t feel my pain.

 

One by one they all moved on, they wearied at our laborious life

They found themselves new families and took themselves a wife

And I was left behind, old hag with sagging breasts

No milk to nursefeed bairns on winter nights

No place for my wearied bones to rest.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for imaginary garden with real toads where we were invited to write in the voice of another.