When Your Whole World Was Taken Away

by Tom Bajoras

Once upon a time, it was always morning.
A motionless sun smiled down at a
constant summer filled with
treehouses, swimming pools, and baseball games.
In the northeast corner of the yard,
daisies swayed in the breeze.

One day,
as beautiful as every other day,
in the tall grass by the stream,
you discover a crow.
And when you kneel down, take hold of it,
and gently brush its feathers,
it’s as still as the sun in the sky.

Over lunch,
your mother tells you that everything—
not only crows, but even you—
must die someday.
You ask what it’s like to die.
For a moment she doesn’t answer,
and then she slowly talks about heaven
and the father you never met.
Her voice is soothing,
but her eyes are sad and distant,
like she’s just taken your whole world away.

You say you want to go back outside,
and your mother smiles
a big smile of relief
that you are still her always morning child.

You run across the lawn,
and as the sun begins to set
you pull the daisies up
and throw them on the ground.