Little one, I’m sorry – Kate Garrett

I was given the damning choice between feeding you
from a bottle and hearing from the midwife that “breast
is best”, shamed like a boisterous child flaunting the rules

or nursing you in secret, holding you between my heart
and the fear-bellows bred from the mouth of your father
who raised a fist and claimed my body belonged to him

(it is mine) and breastfeeding was forbidden under his roof
(also mine). I had to choose the safest path for the long game:
taking comfort in holding you close, in our pocket of quiet –

a plot planted in my mind to take you all away from there
as I offered my plastic replacement to your little lips, tears
streaming down your tiny chipmunk cheeks, nuzzling
for the warm scent of milk and love, the skin of a mother.


KATE GARRETT is editor of three web journals, and her own writing is widely published. Her first full collection, The saint of milk and flames, is forthcoming from Rhythm & Bones Press (April 2019). Kate lives in Sheffield, UK with her husband, children, and a cat. Twitter @mskateybelle /

Image via Pixabay


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