The Babies Didn’t Cry That Night

the babies didn’t cry that night
though the wind was cold
and whipped through the woods where they were huddled
though the wind was cold
and flickered the torches of the men searching

a young father knew cold nights
when his baby would cry as he walked
in front of a fire that flickered in the hearth

"Put the babies to breast." he whispered
to the women crouched behind him
they put their babies to breast
so the babies wouldn’t cry that night

a boy of three crouched below his mother
his brother above him suckled and warm
he was cold and wanted to ask his mother
why the men searching with torches and guns
were in their houses
while they crouched in silence behind their fathers
who watched and shivered in the cold wind
that whipped about them in the woods

And the babies full with milk
fell asleep on their mother’s breast
as the men with torches
tired of their searching
and turned and walked back down the road

their torches disappeared
flickering in the cold wind
that whipped through the woods that night

Lance Cameron Kidwell

21 January 2010

Posted in Stories

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