Christy Effinger's short work has appeared in various print and online publications. She is the author of Say Nothing of What You See, a paranormal new adult novel from The Wild Rose Press. Christy lives near Indianapolis with her husband and young daughter. Her website is christyeffinger.com.
Twenty weeks pregnant and I dream of
a child falling from great heights,
small hand slipping through my own,
face blank as a new moon.
Storm sirens wail in the night.
A cold front pushes east,
spawns twisters near our town
where a warm but wild wind blew all day.
I shake off the sheets and dreams,
wander our dark house alone.
From the window I see trees outlined by lightning.
Naked limbs spread and sway.
Only two days ago they flamed red and gold,
dripped color on the lawn like careless painters.
Now stripped bare, they stand
stark as bones on an X-ray photo,
or babies on a sonogram screen.
The Weather Channel warns
of damaging winds, cautions that
"small unsecured objects
may be blown about."
I doze and dream again of children,
this time drifting down deserted streets
like tumbleweed in the old West.
Who will chase after them,
who will pin down their wings
like butterflies on black velvet,
like specimens in an airtight jar?
But the glass bubble is no favor,
and the caged
never thank you for it.
All I can strive for
is a den in the wilderness,
a nest on a cliff,
where those I love
return now and again
for heaping plates of peace.
My power is limited,
my protection short-lived.
To breed is to concede mortality:
for the first time I will love fiercely
someone sure to outlast me.
The Earth turns on its axis.
There is light
and light again.
Seasons collide in the crash
Bodies of planets and people
have this in common:
breathless depths of beauty,
and the necessary violence of change.