Within You Without by Martha Williams

There’s a moment when you pray, mouth and eyes open like a lost child. Your back arches, your body engulfed in pain that swells from a slow moan to breathless silence… every fibre screaming that the agony should peak and slide but it burns on, until there’s nowhere to turn but up.

And in the sky you see the moments. The first day; disbelief, joy, the arms and laughs of lovers intertwined. Weeks of sick and swell. Smiles and cards, and hands that reach out when you walk in. So many voices, have they always been there?

The pain subsides and you return to the eyes before you. They watched your waters flow in the night, when you knew time beyond clocks. You’d speak, but it’s coming back and you can only moan. His arms are the last thing to melt into the black beyond pain as you thrash, tear, and spray his flesh with your blood.


As you make him a father, his face opens like a child.

Around you, happiness falls like rain into a river. For one strange moment, the congratulations stab your belly with the grief of a pregnancy gone; the life within you without. Your hands fall…

…and into them he delivers your child, whose fingers curl around yours with the tightness of a promise.

Your fingers are steady as you type the message that will arch your mother’s back and lift her face to the sky.

“Now we are three.”


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Filed under Martha Williams

7 responses to “Within You Without by Martha Williams

  1. Pingback: WITHIN YOU WITHOUT — and the Last Week of 52|250 Flash « martha williams

  2. Oh Martha, this is just beautiful. So soft and yet of course, full of vibrant life.

  3. Michelle

    Ah, Martha! Lovely. As always. Thanks for coming round for our last week of flash! So good seeing you here. Take care and good luck with the countdown to B-A-B-Y!!

  4. len kuntz

    hey martha!
    how have you been? great to see you hear. loved this piece. so poetic. this line is perfect: “As you make him a father, his face opens up like a child.”

  5. Wow, Martha. This tugged at me. I hope all three of you are doing well.

  6. Lou

    Gosh, this is just beautiful.

  7. Pingback: Week #52 – Threesome | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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