After the children were gone, she’d feel the echo of them

that distinct and exquisite I’m here, once

wondrous, then bittersweet.  “Phantom baby kicks”

he called them, finding her under the sheets

resting his hand, as he used to, on the mound of her. In time

it stopped, as his heart stopped.  After he died

she’d sometimes feel the echo of him

that distinct and exquisite I’m here

in the dark.  In time, the mound of her grew crowded

with absence, raucous with silence, heavy

with what was gone.  Ready

to fill her empty house with ghosts.

Shannon Connor Winward is the author of the Elgin-award winning chapbook, Undoing Winter. Her work has appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, Lunch Ticket, The Pedestal Magazine, Cider Press Review,  The Monarch Review, Qu, Literary Mama, PANK and elsewhere. In between writing, parenting, and other madness, Shannon is also a poetry editor for Devilfish Review and founding editor of Riddled with Arrows Literary Journal. Find her on Twitter @SCWinward

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