The rope wasn't much and she didn't know if it was strong enough, but it was the only thing she could find.
feet were covered in mud from the river bank and her shoes slipped each
time she pulled back to tighten her grasp, but she kept hold, gripping
the nylon cord until she couldn't feel her fingers, to keep the baby's
face from being submerged.
This is the image she had in her head when she noticed
that the screaming had stopped and that it had been coming from her own
mouth the entire time.
She wasn't sure how long the
policeman had been standing there asking questions, or when the doctor,
who was now pulling an amber-colored liquid into a long syringe, had
arrived. She hadn't called him, had she? She didn't remember being
inside the house at all.
It was so loud.
All the time.
could never have told her that one child could make so much noise or mess. He spent most
of the morning at preschool and the afternoon at her mother's until
she picked him up on her way home from work, but the amount of suffering
he put her ears through in the few hours a day she spent with him was
like the torture she'd seen on TV when they did the thing where the
prisoner is blasted by awful music every few minutes. The relentless
jarring of the nerves is worse than the water-boarding, some have said
and she could believe it.
Just a Thursday.
Change the diaper, make the breakfast, do the dishes, pick up the blocks, vacuum the living room, fold the laundry.
There was no explanation. She knew if she thought about it, she wouldn't be able to bring herself to do it, and there was no more not doing it, so she simply tucked the last sock into it's mate and walked over to where the baby was playing. She picked him up and carried him into the bathroom where the tub had been filling with warm water.
She told the investigator this fact, the warming of the bath, so that he would know she cared, that it mattered to her that the water was womb-like.
She held her son then, held his head, stroked his hair, felt the fat, padded bottoms of his feet on her thigh, and told him how much she loved him. She kissed this into both his eyelids and tickled it into his nose with hers and then she stood up, turned, and plunged him headfirst into the water.
Later she would tell the doctor that she couldn't remember what happened next, but that was not the truth. What happened was the thing that would eat her heart out of her insides if the court did not decide to kill her, this remembering, of the tiny body thrashing as she pushed down.
He had fought hard, that boy of hers, kicking until his lungs filled, and when he became limp in her arms, she let go and started screaming.
That's the thing they don't tell you about the voice in your head shrieking SILENCE, about this word called mother.
There is no relief, not a moment of peace in the quarter of a bloody hole that wrenched out your borne.
She knew this when she turned on the faucet.
She knew it when the stretcher wheeled out a small black bag and loaded it into the white van.
She especially knew it when the walls of the white room started howling each night that
there is never, ever silence because that sound you can't get rid of is your blood still living and it won't ever be quiet until you are the one who is drowned.