MY SON - sheleen mcelhinney

His scalp smells gamey, like a cut of meat. I guess that's what my genes smell like mixed with his father’s—a sweating rack of lamb. I watch him at the table, gobbling down rabbit stew, his breathing heavy and labored as if he hasn’t been fed in days. He has an arm guarding his food against invisible predators. He looks like a stranger to me. The thick mop of dusty brown hair, the wide nose, the growling and grunting. I bring the rug outside, hang it over a tree and beat it with a branch, watch the dust particles swirl and float in the sun. My hands are dry and cracked; the hands of an old woman. When my boy was born, these hands were soft against his cheek, soft inside his curling locks of hair, but still he suckled on my breast like a ravenous wolf, always taking more than I could give. His father doesn't know what he is, but I do. I lie in the dirt and wait. I sing softly to myself as the moon rises high in the night sky. A coyote howls in the distance and I know I'll be out here all night, waiting for my son to come home and curl up in my skirt, weeping for all he's destroyed. 

Sheleen McElhinney
All The Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr