Poems & Essays

15 May

The Not So Unthinkable Brenda Lee

General/Column No Response

49 year old mother
does the unthinkable
the headline said

so I read
about the two time
cancer survivor
and mother of eleven
who heard a gun
and told her son to run

who heard a gun
and stepped forward
to cover her son

who when she was shot
trying to dial 911
did not cry for help

Who demanded her son
Not come back for her

she wasn’t thinking
about her safety
she wasn’t thinking
I have ten more at home
she wasn’t thinking
because there was nothing to think

her son was in danger
and she acted
just like the father
who tried to pry open
the jaws of an alligator
beneath the murky water
behind Disney
in search of his son

Because no scale exists
that would weigh her life
more than her son’s

It is that parental reflex
shared by all the parents
who dive into danger
whose arms snap out
catching their children
before they toddle off the edge

Brenda Lee was not thinking
but she was not careless
and her actions were
but not
and not


Meagan Noel Hart’s work spans many genres and interests, though she is most known for her flash fiction and her focus on the individual’s unique place in the world. Her writing has appeared in Welter, Everyday Fiction, Smoking Pen Press’s Unusual Pet Tales, and most recently, Mothers Always Write. Her collections include Twisted Together, A Short Stack of Silly Shorts for the Morally Sidetracked, and Whispers and Fangs. She is the mother of two rambunctious and loving boys, and a Senior Lecturer at Stevenson University.

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