A World’s First Moments of Coldness

by Shaun Terry

Sad, quiet child

I still remember the acridity,
as the cold, hard cobalt floor
slowly collided with my cheeks and jowls.

My face shot around like one of those old cartoons
and up – way up – so that my eyes could meet my mother’s face,
distorted, scrunched in the bottom of the front of her head,
moving about as if sounds were to come from it.

I lay, sucking in long, low breaths,
perched up, but unmoving,
apart from the steady tremors of my breathing,
waiting for something to change
in that acrid air.

The last thing I remember from that isolating moment
was the early betrayal I felt
as the pitch of the gong of my head
met the pitch of her voice,
and she said,
“It doesn’t matter why! Life’s not fair!”