She lives in a small cell
on the Maximum Security Unit
pregnant with her tenth love child
the other nine scattered
like dried leaves in the wind.
Beneath the baggy government-issued jumpsuit
her belly swells and shifts with the weight of life
a heaviness of never hearing first words,
seeing first steps, or kissing cherub cheeks goodnight,
thoughts as chilling to the bone
as the December blizzard outside.
Over the intercom Officer Ryan’s