Long Ago
Chloe, Age 14, Ashland, OR
                      When I was too young to understand,
Mommy had a baby in her tummy

"You'll have a little brother or sister!"
They told me with bright shining eyes
With happy smiles on their faces
and a wonderful, innocent confidence

They remodeled the old nursery
New paint, new books, new sights, new smells
They were so excited
I was too
Even though I didn't quite understand

One day Mommy said she felt sick
Her expression grew worried
She touched her belly, which was just slightly rounded
She became panicked
Daddy took her to the hospital
They left me with a babysitter

They came back some time later
They both walked with utter defeat
Their heads were down
Now they were impossibly sad
When just days before they had been impossibly happy

"No baby after all,"
They told me
I understood that, at least
I understood it made them sad

They hugged each other and cried
Even though I know they were trying to hide it from me

It took a very long time
For them to decide to try again
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