A sleeping child…

9.30 pm

in my arms,

her right eye is slightly open, 

left completely closed. 

she is heavy in my arms, 

fingers still wrapped around my finger. 

For these small moments, 

I hold on, holding her, 

Close to my heart, 

For longer than I should,

Where she is mine, 

In my womb once again, 

Kicking, turning and sleeping as she is now. 

She is with me, 

And I with her. 

No pangs of guilt in the matatu on the way to work, 

No question of whether I am raising her right, 

No inkling of her growth and independence, 

Apart and away from me. 

I place her softly in her bed, 

Careful to have her warm and safe, 

And think back to the soft embrace of my mother’s own womb. 

I, like my child cannot return to the cradle of the womb, 

How terrible, 

And yet…  How liberating. 

A kiss on her forehead, 

And one for each cheek,

I turn off the lights and leave her be. 



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