I went out to the hazel woodbecause a fire was in my headcut and peeled a hazel wandand hooked a berry to a threadand when white moths were on the wingand moth-like stars were flickering outI dropped the berry in a stream,and caught a little silver trout....(Song of Wandering Aengus)
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I went out to the hazel woodbecause a fire was in my headcut and peeled a hazel wandand hooked a berry to a threadand when white moths were on the wingand moth-like stars were flickering outI dropped the berry in a stream,and caught a little silver trout….(Song of Wandering Aengus)

-W.B. Yeats

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When I wasn’t in the barn garden, helping out, sorting seeds or checking hoses I’d spend time alone, usually in the bathroom adjacent to Joel’s room, staring into the shattered mirror as my hand gently caressed my baby bump.More often than not I would cry. Not because my pregnancy upset me, or that my hormones were getting the better of me, but because I missed Joel, my baby’s father. That the baby would grow up without a dad made me anxious. Then again, if he had survived, what irreparable damage would he have suffered and how would his pain translate to his child? Jesus, I was studying myself in the very mirror he’d smashed the night he chose to take his own life.The bump had grown slowly in the last couple of months. With these limited resources, I didn’t have the privilege of eating whatever I craved. Had that been the case, I was sure I would have been bigger by now. Still, I tried to eat as well and as often as I could and the size of my belly had proven that my attempts at proper nutrition were at least growing something in there.Nothing made me happier than feeling my baby move. It was a constant source of relief for me. In our present circumstances, with no vitamins and barely any meat products save the recent stash of jerky Earl had found in an abandoned trailer, my diet consisted of berries, lettuce, and canned beans for the most part. Feeling the baby move inside me was an experience I often enjoyed alone. I would think of Joel then as well. Imagining his hand on my belly, with mine guiding his to the kicks and punches.

-Michael Poeltl

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