Brake lights on the red sports car flash on, off, on.
It creeps slow enough to see,
steers around, then is away.
Two small brown dogs
are dancing on the blacktop.
A baby stands watching,
barefoot, by himself, and beaming at his friends. Then he wobbles forward on unsteady legs.
Without a thought, the stranger child is in my arms.
Furious and wild, I climb to the nearest house and find a man in the yard with his son.
Is this your baby?
Eyes roll. Never seen it before. Probably belongs to them up the road. They're no good.
I refuse to walk the gravel road, and instead struggle up through fields of tall summer grass that slices my legs and trips my feet, and gives me time to feel. He's in just a diaper and a short stained t-shirt. I feel his frightened limbs cling, his round belly, his quick young heart. He rests his furrowed brow on my shoulder and whimpers "Ma."
I try to breathe calm into him. We'll find her. Don't worry.
Far up the hill I can see the little house with the back door slid open.
© Laura Seale, 2013
|Woman Carrying a Baby|
1804 print from Wikimedia Commons