Hushed by Margaret Kiernan

I remember when I was a small child, a hushed morning with a lack of the usual bluster and movement. My father was not at work although it was a weekday.

There were extra people in the house. It seemed to my five-year-old eyes the space was over-crowded, the ceiling too low and the East facing window shed no sunlight, as if reality had been suspended. It was March. Outside in the front garden stood blooms of daffodils. Bright, yellow and hopeful.

The large pine table that always stood in the centre of the room was now being covered in a white tablecloth. Large men carried a small box and placed it on top of the tablecloth. The cradle nearby, holding one of the twins, was moved to a nearby bedroom.  I heard a small cry as it was being moved away; a farewell.

The other twin-boy, dressed in a white frock, was placed into the small box. He lay there, translucent, like a beautiful wax doll. Spotless and unblemished apart from his heart. A hole let the wind go. Time stood still.

I am still holding my breath.

About the contributor

Margaret Kiernan’s interests are writing fiction and poetry. She paints in watercolour and other media. Her love of landscape colours her words. Her background of Social Justice advocacy influences many of her poems and her hope to give voice to the marginalised.

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