... Like A Motherless Child

Years later,
the baby
(grown) lies
loosely swathed,
abandoned
in a city doorway.
No mother's shadow
blocks hot sun,
chases flies
off eyelids,
dearly watches
little quiverings
of mouth
and chin.
No one worries
at the unprotected arm
sprawled
light and tender
against the
marble stair
where people pass,
or notes with irony
the resting brow
smooth with sleep
of the babe too big
to be held to the heart
and carried away.

Sandra Van Dyk was a mother of five children teaching sociology and research and communications skills at Malcolm-King: Harlem College Extension in New York City when this poem appeared.

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