A Night of Not Knowing by Michelle Elvy

for Jana

They say you are OK, but how am I to know, really? You were taken – taken – so fast, I had no say, and I’m left with nothing but your sudden silence, not the hot cry I expected. We had been one – breathing, feeding, living in unison – and then you were gone, lifted from me swiftly, rushed to a safe sterile place.  And now you lie there in your own world of plastic and tubing and disinfected air, and I lie here in my world of pain, helpless to help you. They say you are ok but I know what I saw: a purple lifeless thing, sticky and wet and tiny in the surgeon’s hands, taken from me to keep alive. I want to take you back, but you’re an impossible fifty meters down the hall, a world away. So I wait, with my belly split by precision incision, my breasts landmines waiting to explode at the slightest touch, my heart throbbing because it cannot feel yours any more. I lie here alone with my searing scar, raw with fear and not knowing.  I lie here sleepless and wait for the moment when I will touch your new skin, smell your new smell, see your tiny fluttering chest, and feel your perfect fingers wrap round my thumb with their miraculous might. I already know the hard suck of your hunger, and my breasts weep with nourishment that you may or may not ever know.

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Filed under Michelle Elvy

5 responses to “A Night of Not Knowing by Michelle Elvy

  1. This is very powerful stuff. Nicely written!

  2. guy

    I know that many women and babies do go through just this kind of trauma, but just for your sake, i hope this was just imagined. The suffering and fear are palpable — even for a male reader.

  3. OMG, I’m on the verge of tears. Well done.

  4. Pingback: 6 – Balance of Terror « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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