Why are you sad, Mamma?

(Because I’m grieving,
grieving for your brother,
grieving for you.

(Because he doesn’t deserve it
we don’t deserve it
you don’t deserve the future now fixed for you.

(Because I’m worn thin.
conducting a Medela symphony
nursing:
the stupidity of disbelief.

(Because it’s not supposed to be like this
a blighted present,
wondrous moments tainted.
no crooning on the car-hide home
but desperately conveyed by ambulance at day five
no smiling photos of proud visitors
but the rounds of doctors, teaching interns
no jolting awake to imperial cries
but silence through the bars of a hospital bed
watching him sleep on,
and on,
and on.

(Because I wondered whether he never wanted to be born.
Because at one point I wondered whether he should have been.
Because I’m scared I’m not strong enough
Because I know I have to be
Because I love him, and must not fail him,
must not wallow in bitter resentment
unwanted lottery
of one in fifteen thousand.

(Because I am frightened
that he might use up everything I have to give).

Ah, mamma is just a bit tired, sweetheart.
What game shall we play?

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