Brian came home late, found me
curled on the sofa in darkness,
could smell the subtle aftermath
of something burnt. When he asked
what was wrong, I didn't respond.
I couldn't explain how,
as I was mixing the dough,
I imagined two faces
standing eye level to the counter.
How I offered each child a taste
and watched them clean the spoon.
I couldn't explain how the vision shifted
as lights of a passing ambulance
flashed through the window
and I pictured them asleep at dawn,
whispering to wake them;
how one refusedhis chest silent.
I couldn't explain.
(Originally published in Natural Bridge, 2006)