Title Our Authors

The Children

By Lee Nelson

The children

While my beloved dog

was still alive yet dying

and knew she was dying

she and I witnessed an event.

 

A fawn was hit by a passing car.

Mom was there. 

Siblings were there.

It was hopeless for the fawn

but Mom would be damned.

 

She stood and wailed and stomped her hoof

her hoof crashing to blistering hot asphalt

slapping adamantly by the dying fawn's head.

"Get up!  Get up! Move!  Don't give up!  Get up!"

 

The precious fawn couldn't move.

It was dead.

My beloved dog knew this

clear as I did

and for all the hate in her bones

for the deer

her entire eleven years

she was as sad as I was.

 

The driver remained in his car.

He didn't know what to do.

Who would?

The homeowner adjacent to the tragedy

pulled the fawn from the middle of the street

while Mom bellowed and stomped and hissed.

That was brave.

Ripley's tail straight to the sky,

she didn't bark.

She always barked.

 

A town detail arrived

and removed the dead fawn

after Mom finally conceded

in the name of her living children.

Her bereft heart was as palpable

as the worst the world can ever deliver. 

I wonder how the one child

among us twelve witnesses

will remember that.

I turned and pet my beloved dog.

She was unwavering.

She could've cared less for anything.

 

My beloved dog passed

shortly after that

and enough about that.

 

It's been weeks.

Mom still comes around

in earnest absence of child

searching insisting refusing

what the world did sayeth.

 

She returns to the scene of the crime

and all around

looking

smelling

wondering

denying

to the far corners of my yard

and anywhere else

reasonable or not

to seek and find.

 

For all my beloved dog's hate

to the marrow of her character

even she granted a pass

in the name of the children.

 

Does anything precious

in the world

carry the gravity

of the children?

 

The children.

The children.

Even when we don't have them

we live for the children.

 

Forever the children

as the world is cruel

and Mom

will never

give up.

 

Mine sure never did,

and I've sure seen the wild.

Mine are in the wild now.

Every day I tell myself

I did enough.

 

Why are we here?

The children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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