Sitting up in bed nursing my son at night
the nothingness of it would sweep me away
following the distant whistle of the train –
clearer on winter nights, unmuffled by leaves –
passing through town as the milk passed through me,
impersonal as my son’s averted eyes,
his hand pulling my hair taut to hold me there,
trickle and swallow, filling me with black thoughts,
our unity nothing but unity
with all the other times we’ve done this,   
the bleakness of waiting to go back to sleep
reminding me of standing at the door
waiting for you to come in from out back,
listening for your jingle in the night’s cold rain.


Rebecca Starks