Comment on this article

Final Night
by Tina Hacker

When a child dies in Niger,
the family wraps him up
and allows the mother to sleep
with him all night.

The curve of her arm
around the still bundle
forms the last smile
she can give him.
He is hers
during this time for sleeping,
a few hours for the months
he grew in her belly,
one night for the years
crouched beside him
as he played by the fire.
Her thighs remember
relief when he slid into life;
her breasts remember
calm as he took her milk.
She waits until dawn to weep
so her tears will be fresh
as they sink into the wrappings,
an offering of water
and salt to nourish him
on his next journey.

Published in Mid-America Poetry Review, 2007 and Touch: The Journal of Healing, 2009.


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]