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She Buried Three

"a woman's struggle with the loss of several children and her longing to be a mother"

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Mother tried her very best
to tote my bones with care
And sustain me with bread and good intentions,
it was all that she could afford.

She worried with each passing minute
that my muscles were wasting away
That my heart was not beating at its fullest strength
That, like the others, I would not stay

On nights when papa lay in a 'cross town ditch
entertained by moonshine dreams
Mother lay in the still on her cold, dirt bed
Anticipating life signs from me

'cause she could not bear to bury four
and leave us alone in care of the dirt
While she was expected to un-remember us
Pretend that heartache did not hurt

She could not bear to pick one more name
for a child she could never call
a child she could never brag of or scold
No, she couldn't bear that at all

So, she promised herself that it would be just three
And that "4" would be her lucky number
This time she would hear the hearty cry
of a new life not yet taken under

This time she would use those pretty dresses
Dainty ruffles or twill short pants
She could unwrap those blankets from that dusty trunk
Knit booties for tiny feet and hands

This time she could look into her little ones eyes
And see life dance in pools of brown
Taste the soft, sweet kiss from cherubic lips
and brush the curls from soft black down

It was Spring when I, like the gardenias and lilies
bloomed and came to life
I'd traveled through the space where three others had been
And came out on the other side

And though it should be impossible to remember
I recall mother's face vividly
and the look in her eyes as she gazed into mine
Displayed thanks that she'd only buried three

Written by ACCooper
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