In Memory of the Children of Andrea Yates

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Dedicated To the Children Of Andrea Yates 2001

She stands for a long time
as if gravity is concrete –
staring through lost, glassy eyes
sheets lay limp as exhausted sails
a testament to the surrendering of wills

Long dampened strands of hair
stick to her face
she looks out toward the water
watching for them to come home
when the children arrive next time
they will be aglow with smiles,
full of hugs and celebration –
a house finally resounding with life

For now the baptism abounds
She sees them reflected
from beneath an aqueous mirror
so small  – so white – so still
faces now calm after the tempest,
reality finds her drenched and disheveled
she is exorcised, stoically calm
a rock hard silence deafens the ears
the heaving of her chest
is the only physical sensation she feels
there are no more waves left churning the water
no more shrieks – nor children’s hands violently
slashing through the wetness
to grip onto something solid

The bathroom light becomes a blinding sunlight mockery
her eyes hollow of vision
her heart emptied of soul
how did it come to this
why did Rusty ignore storm warnings
why let her captain a ship
ferrying the devil with a mutinous mission-

Those babies were conceived in liquid
held sacred in her ‘Quiverfull’ womb
and back to the water she has led them
back to the water by her capsized emotions
emotions that left her more than once submerged in
zones of sterilized and sedated padding
enabling her to float just slightly above the madness
till now

For everyday it will come back to her
heavy as an iron anchor
they can condemn her
they can sentence her
it doesn’t matter
from now on she is tethered to memory
The Valedictorian lives behind bars
pills keeping the demons tamed
as she goes through this life
spitting out words from her Bosch-womb/brain
recanting that her children’s fates were sealed
because their mother was deemed evil

Andrea now lives in metered purgatory,
every time she touches or hears water
she feels that tinge of suffocation
she feels her pulse rise as theirs was silenced
she too drowns inside
for vision cannot be obliterated
by a simple drawing of the lids,
she will always see them
their mouth’s last bubbles rising as muted screams
those five beautiful faces looking up
innocent, wide eyes full of panic
they will always stare back at their mother
out of breath
out of time,
silently pleading
silently pleading…

Abbe 2001

One thought on “In Memory of the Children of Andrea Yates

  1. This is beautiful, but sad. I always think about this woman, and corresponded with her for a while, when she was in the prison, Since she has been moved the mental hospital, I havent’ been able to write her. She was always so sorry for what she did and never complained about where she was, only worried what God may never forgive her.

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