“At the Center” by Mari Ness

He, too, was our mother’s child,
hidden away in a labyrinth
of locks and walls and shadowed things,
his every cry muffled in wood and stone.

He, too, was our mother’s child,
handed the scraps of yarn,
discarded from her weaving.

He, too, was our mother’s child –
her eyes shone from his bloodied face,
his mangled lips whispering her name.

He, too, was our mother’s child,
I led his killer to his prison.
I stroked the knife his killer held.

He too, was our mother’s child.
I remembered that, as he bled.
I remembered that, as I washed my robe,
marked with drops of his killer’s blood.

Mari Ness lives in central Florida with two cats who are not quite as appreciative of poetry as they should be. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Daily Science Fiction, Nightmare, Fireside, Apex, Strange Horizons and Uncanny. For more, visit her website at marikness.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter at mari_ness.
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