Even a carpenter can't sand away the splinters in her heart,
fix the broken pieces as she traces her fingers along the wooden edges of the crib.
She feels as though they fumble along the polished surface now,
as if she's trying to read a foreign language,
as if her thumbs are intruders across this relic,
as if she doesnt belong.
She will no longer be a mother after all.
As for the child inside, he's cocooned up in a blanket the colour of oceans,
the colour of tears,
she fears the years he will spend away from her.
She will no longer live in the space between stitches and cotton,
her laugh will no longer line his skin at bath time
like the careful lace charms hanging above his head.
They hang coldly now, like a broken promise,
like stars in limbo.
That's what this was in a way;
the limbo between love and loss,
a scar as visible as the lifelines mocking her palms.
There was no spell to save her this time, no charm waiting under her breath.
Rumplestiltskin would always win.
That's what he told her again when he appeared at the door,
with round, greedy eyes like a child in a sweet shop,
scanning the room for where the crib stood
vulnerable as tissue paper, her son's cries stagnant in the breeze like the prelude to the storm.
"Where is the little angel?"
that man's mouth was open round as a halo,
yet he spoke as if angels were a disease,
the corners of his greenish lips twitching as if he'd eaten a wounded animal
and it was still convulsing under his tongue.
that's what she decided she was going to be-
did not let him win.
She pulled at his Achilles heel until he unravelled, until he came undone.
She told him
She told him, "You can't have my son. Would you like to make a deal?"