Fresh Air Will Do Them Good

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By Alanna Donaldson

His mother remembers something he does not remember. Once, he wouldn’t stop crying, so she put his basket outside and shut the door. Inside, exhausted, she fell asleep.

Forty years later she tells him what happened. She only wanted a moment’s peace, to hear herself think. She hadn’t known how tired she was. How can someone know that?

He understands the impulse; he has a baby of his own now. He tells her he forgives her. He doesn’t tell her about cold, or loneliness. He doesn’t tell her he has been shut out, waiting to come in, all his life.

         
Alanna Donaldson works in publishing and lives in the countryside, surrounded by small birds and short stories.

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