Belated Apology

Posted in

Under the driver’s seat, down with fuzz, frizzled
napkins from McDonald’s, paperclips, a dime
and two darkened pennies, lies the reason I
couldn’t console you on the death of your son.
At birth, my son’s heart rate dropped with every
contraction. The nurse turned off the sound so
we wouldn’t have to hear the slowing beep
that counting between flash and thunder—with
ever so much at stake. Me on my right side,
beep-beep, beep, but on my back or left side the
machinery would beep much slower. When
more than one doctor runs through the door at
one time, beep you know things will not end
well. But that’s not this story. Not my story. It’s
not your story, either. You had no warning. My
son survived his birth, cord thrice wrapped
around his neck; he survived toddlerhood, grade
school, and high school (just). And here, our
stories converge—one suicide completed and
one not. Forgive me. I didn’t know how to
comfort you. 

Michele Parker Randall is the author of Museum of Everyday Life (Kelsay Books 2015) and A Future Unmappable, chapbook (Finishing Line Press 2021). Her poetry can be found in Nimrod International Journal, Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere.

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN