Humming by Maria DeSantis


Her socks were over worn in shoes too tired to walk
Beaten, young feet shuffled down the dirt road
Singing gospel songs quickly vaporizing under a roaring sun unkind to shade
The air thick with the scent of rain
Chances of catching a ride: slim
Distant thunder flexed angry warnings
Humming drowned out nature’s threats
Clouds gathered victoriously
Gray sheets of rain saturated dusty bodies  
Through the wet noise she heard a baby cry 
The sound of hunger pierced her heart
Her little boy died a breadcrumb ago
Dragging heavy limbs up the stairs
Entering damp darkness her eyes forced to focus 
Someone threw an apron, yelling to get going on the dishes
Stacks of dirty plates surrounded her like glass soldiers attempting to break her
Humming an old church song, she filled the sink
Reaching for a sponge, her only weapon
She scrubbed away at the encrusted food
Like scars from a brief motherhood.
Steam rose, creating clinging droplets on long lashes 
Hidden tears fell deep into the soapy water
Her reflection was worn 
No longer pretty enough to matter
Her mind unwilling to surrender
Inhaling. Exhaling.
Eyes closed for the day
Reaching for another plate
She hummed louder

Maria DeSantis has a BA in English/Women Studies. She has worked in the hospitality industry, as an entrepreneur, and as a jack-of-all-trades. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and yoga.