Susan Bellfield


Rumpled sheets, threadbare teddy
short one eye, Dixie cup of buttery
dandelions (a bribe to atone
for torn school pants) nestled
in the crook of his baseball glove.

The floorboards sigh, he stretches
catlike—all  elbows and limbs
in hastily outgrown pajamas—
arms extended, the summer sun
captured between his fingertips. 

Heart open like morning glories
embracing the dawn, I kiss
his sleep-warmed cheek, immersed
in the scent of little boy
sweat, and the ache of youth passing
like the light through his fingers.



When my brother died,
my mother tidied
her grief into amber bottles,
capsules with lyrical names.  

Her shadow rose each morning
to scramble eggs
scrub toilets
and draw the shades. 

I learned to tear the crust
from my own sandwich
play in whispers, wait
for daddy to come home. 

I wore her absence
in the holes of my sweaters,
lined my pockets
with the stones of her fear. 

No longer enough
the mother
the child, adrift
among the living.

© Susan Bellfield

Susan Bellfield is a graduate student in creative writing, a do-it-yourself enthusiast, and an advocate of the fermentation of grapes. Her work has appeared in Sorrows Words, various places on the internet, and can also be read on her website

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