Mother wilts within her sheets

So I sit upon her bed

listening close to words

ill themselves

of her life and the life of mine and

mine brothers, sisters, kin

She spoke of the poison she drank

in her days - young, wreckless -

thinking nothing of it but finding

soon after

and bearing children

made the potion take effect- worse yet

the foul liquid transferr'd itself upon us babes

whom

instead of crying for the kindest breast

bawled out for the crueler milk.

"I denied you, at first"

moaning and sobbing

"but my resolve - quick unknotted -

could never last your whimper'd tear"

and I know of course, that drink she spake

and the trouble it had caused and still causes

even now

My brothers, sisters, kin, and I

cruel ourselves

never searched for remedy

(least rather late)

though Death waits patiently

for both Mother and Child alike.

Mother wilts within her sheets

and I sit upon her bed - wondering quietly-

shall I-

pour myself another drink?