“In a Quiet Moment” by Hilary Melton

Hilary Melton


In a quiet moment,
maybe a sunny day drive

it can slip in before I notice—
imagining myself if
he were dead.

And sometimes, unable to stop
my vocal cords snap.

Other times—I sleep
through the night, pack a bag
and hitch-hike to Montreal.

if I could go now—as if he
never happened—
to a store selling ten-year-olds

and browse through the selection:
smart ones, athletic ones,
well-behaved ones

and one in the corner—

there humming tunelessly
glancing this way and that
following light and shadows

those Elizabeth Taylor blue eyes
that one-sided smile—

I’d point and say,

from Rattle #41, Fall 2013
Tribute to Single Parent Poets


Hilary Melton: “Experiences, like being a single parent of a child with special needs, feel grounded and more real when I land them solidly in poems. Writing poetry for me is not an easy process and is one I try to avoid. I am motivated sometimes because I know what I am feeling isn’t unique to me, and maybe I can write it down in a way that will help some reader somewhere feel heard or not so alone.”

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