Follow Through

You lost your voice and we made do. The baby’s voice was just bubbling out. I developed a new language, hand gestures for you and spit sounds for the baby. You pointed at your mouth and signaled for food, water, affection. When we fought, you sounded like a bag of brittle rocks tipping. We watched game shows on TV and imagined our family in red shirts, in a line, smiling over popcorn makers and vacuum cleaners. I was so good at coordinating our life and protecting you and the baby that I got jobs as an air traffic controller and a police officer. I committed myself to my work and saw you less and less. We needed money. We needed benefits. Everything I did went back to you. You held the baby until it was too large to hold. Then you released it into the woods behind our house. It was still too awkward and unhealthy to walk so it rolled into the forest like a weed.

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