huddled inside a coat too small to cover
your belly, ripe with life.
At your side, a child twirls and dances,
barely steady on still-tiny legs.
The umbrella you hold shelters only your babies,
the one who dances, the one not yet born.
Upon your head alone, the rain falls,
cold and sharp, unrelenting.
You wait, you wait forever it seems,
for something to arrive that will take you from this place,
to somewhere warmer, better, brighter.
Watching you, from the blessed warm comfort of my
I feel pity and fear and relief that I am [in] here, instead of there,
on the outside of everything that's supposed to matter.
You see me then, across the way and your chin comes up
and our eyes lock and hold.
And then your daughter's hand fumbles for yours and you
take it and squeeze and hang on tight and your eyes leave mine to
look instead at her face and smile...
Courage, I whisper, though you cannot hear because you are busy
being a mother,
Have faith, I think and then suddenly, I wonder who it is that
I am whispering to because then I see that
you are so much braver
than anyone I have ever been.