In the beginning, I cried for it. Yet each night after dark, I threw up that sour formula, that fake milk warmed in glass bottles my mother tested on her wrists, so I wouldn’t burn my mouth.
Still, my mouth burned. I was a difficult baby, thin and colicky. I hungered but could not accept nourishment.
That’s how I began: Born at just five pounds, brought home in a receiving blanket, placed in a crib where I protested and screamed, the vein in my neck throbbing.
Years later, I’m still protesting, still screaming.
It scares me to close my mouth.
From Guest Contributor Cinthia Ritchie
Cinthia is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee who writes and runs mountains in Anchorage, Alaska. Find her work at Water-Stone Review, Evening Street Press, Third Wednesday, Best American Sports Writing 2013, Sports Literate, The Boiler Journal, Cactus Heart Press, Mary: A Journal of New Writing, damselfly press, Memoir, Sugar Mule, Foliate Oak Literary Journal and other small presses. Her first novel, Dolls Behaving Badly, released from Hachette Press/Grand Central Publishing