Sunday, January 1, 2006

Every Day With Baby

As I walked across the bridge she cooed and bounced,
then lurched backward out of my arms,
over the railing. I grabbed. I missed.
Her heavy head cracked on the sidewalk below.

I stumbled on the gravel towpath,
and she rolled into the canal.
The water was so brown I couldn’t find her.
I splashed and groped, touching only fuzzy rocks.

The Doberman at the corner snapped his leash.
He charged too fast. He dragged her off,
gnawed her limbs until the crying stopped.
Yet we made it home, hit by only one truck.

I fed her dinner on which she choked.
I gave her a bath in which she drowned.
I laid her in her bed where she rolled over and suffocated.
Tomorrow when she wakes we will do it again.

Cheryl Gatling

published in Willow Review

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