Nursing

I saw a drawing in the art museum in Pilsen
Of a mother nursing in black-and-white
Her full breasts dangling, baby suckling on the right
A wide-eyed tabby watching over her shoulder
And I thought to myself: I want that feeling
A feeling my own mother never had with me
And how ironic that it is now, this moment
After ten years of marriage, after my divorce
That I should feel these pangs, these cravings
When the possibility of babies and breast milk
Seem as far away as the moon or the Milky Way
Or a comet that traveled near to Earth once
But passed unnoticed by all but the scientists and sailors
And has no plans to return…
Perhaps the hormones in my body are playing tricks
Causing me to feel things that are not real
Think thoughts that are not my own
A passing flu, a fainting spell, a moment of insanity
In the fickle female brain…
I saw a little girl today in the plaza by the Calder
She and her mother both wore pink shirts
She walked carefully along a ledge, waving her arms
Until mother took her hand and helped her down
And I thought to myself: I will never have that
Or the chances are small, the odds against
More likely I will wander through museums alone
And some art – like Angelina Beloff’s drawing –
Will bring tears…

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