Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Cold Front by William Carlos Williams

A Cold Front

This woman with a dead face
has seven foster children
and a new baby of her own in
spite of that. She want pills

for an abortion and says,
Uh hum, in reply to me while
her blanketed infant makes
unrelated grunts of salutation.

She looks at me with her mouth
open and blinks her expressionless
carved eyes, like a cat
on a limb too tired to go higher

from its tormentors. And still
the baby chortles in its spit
and there is a dull flush
almost of beauty to the woman’s face

as she says, looking at me
quietly, I won’t have any more.
In a case like this I know
quick action is the main thing.


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