The lullaby in clawed vinyl echoes off molding walls.
I cannot rock the poor baby to sleep – no matter how much I caress its soft skin and hum to the broken tune.
The splintered mobile dangles lifelessly from a fractured ceiling.
And the screams. The screams. Are they mine? Or are they the infant’s?
The wooden toys with peeling paint lay sprawled and a charred floor.
Why I can’t soothe him? I’ve done everything. I need to sleep. I need to rest. But I cannot put the baby down until it sleeps. It must sleep.
The thorn cradle waits in the center of a dying room.
For the life of me, I must rest. But the child must come first.
I crawl inside the thorn cradle. The pricks numbed by fatigue. And I hold the child close to my chest so that it may finally fall asleep.