One Summer Mother

by Marla Chalnick

I hear babies crying
windows open
sun barely set
curtains still
air silent
babies crying in the alley
Mother says I am bad
says I take advantage of her
what does that mean?
I eat supper in the bathroom
cold tile floor feels yummy
against my bare legs
toilet seat is my table
scrambled eggs are cold
I push them around the plate
lose my appetite
crying babies in the alley
I lie in bed in my underwear
my room an oven
no milk and cookies
no TV
just me wishing
I could fall asleep
babies cry in the alley
Mother says they’re cats
I don’t know any cats
they sound sad
maybe they are starving too

Marla Chalnick is a semi-retired psychotherapist, an active volunteer with Hospice, and a writer. Her work has been published in Iodine Poetry Journal, THRIFT Poetic Arts, and Tuesday’s Children: A Collection of Poetry and Prose.

About One Summer Mother—The poem was created from a childhood memory that has never gone away.