rough gray stones on beach in daylight

The Weight

The air was full of water and heat
It held my attention like a fly caught 
In the web of an angry spider
Cocooning me in panic
Smothering me under a blanket
Made out of tropical meridians
And other people's ideas of what
To do in the late morning heat
Of a busy Tokyo train station.
In my arms the baby struggled
Leaning away from me
Open mouthed, one shoe lost
Pulling my hair and angrily
Smearing snot over my good
Black pants, mouthing infant
Kisses onto my cheek and 
Telling me, in her own sweet
Way, that despite losing her
Shoe, and being too heavy
To carry through Ikebukero station, 
That she loved me, Mommy.
Holding on up stairs that tripped me
Arms aching so badly that
I felt as if they were going to fall
Off entirely: heart racing, lungs
Failing to take in oxygen instead
Of mist, the miserable heat of her 
Body sending my core into meltdown,
I still continued to carry her, 
Crying and screaming and protesting
To be allowed to stagger, heat and 
Milk drunk, with one bare foot
Across the concrete, risking toes
And the disapproving looks
Of elderly women who had forgotten
What it is to haul a small child along
In the heat of a Tokyo Morning,
Hanging by the sun in the sky
And the water in the air,
Buried in motherhood
And the loss of selfhood
With snot across your
Best black pants. 


  1. slpmartin

    Indeed a brilliant write and reading…amazing how small children are capable of dehumanizing us in there own special way…using our love for them as a tool.

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