This sonnet by Dorian Brooks was first published in Ibbetson Street in 2019.
A woman from Honduras recalled how officials
took away her baby while she was breastfeeding.
—The Guardian, June 16, 2018
I wonder, when they came to take away
babies from nursing mothers, did they snatch
them off, or let the mothers finish, the way
midwives and manuals taught them – to “unlatch”
as naturally as breathing? Carefully
crook your pinky finger and slip it into
your baby’s mouth. Turn your finger slowly
to break the suction, ease it nearer you
a little bit, then rest. I like to think
at least a few officials had the heart
to let a mother linger – giving one last drink
to her child – before they pulled the pair apart
and neither one knew where the other went,
both left with empty lives for nourishment.
© Dorian Brooks
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08/01/2020 17:16, Monika Totten
The poem gave me goose bumps. Persistent goose bumps.