He lay alone. A crib among a sea of cribs.
No one. No home.
Lifted, unwrapped, rewrapped, put down.
Disembodied cries: His own? Others? Anyone?
His voice ignored.
Too many babies, too few staff.
He learned to rock himself to sleep.
His mind took him away from hunger, fear, despair, exhaustion.
Contracted world. Folded unto its own.
Then in the numbing monotony
Lifted into chaos
Faces too close, movement too rapid, changes too many.
Rapid. Jumbled. Urgent.
Numbness threatened, overwhelm piled on.
Snail in. Check out. Burrow deep into alone.
Still something tugged. Come back.
Smiles. Cooing. Soft hands.
Gentle rocking that filtered into his own and
Yearning. Sorrow. Despair. Hope. Panic. Need.
Too much. Too much. Too much.
He fled into his mind.
He peeked out. Fled back in.
Aware, away, awake, afraid, alarmed, asleep.
Days passed on
Eternity or weeks or months.
Soft words repeated gently
More holding arms
In rocking, humming, tenderness
New scaffold rose as
Meaning slowly dispersed fog
Soothing voices at disembodied cries: his own?
And they come.
For The Daily Post