Shrieks pierce my chest. I move quickly and lift you from your crib. We settle in the nursing chair.
The aching weight of you sags my arms. Silence cloaks the witching hour. We’re a raft lost at sea, a flame floating on an ocean of black. You latch on while I sing a lullaby so low it’s barely a whisper. Your head has an earthy heaviness.
Your hot milky smell, as delicate as a moth’s wing, envelopes us. Protects us. My eyes droop, my bones ache, but I hold on, still as the moon, wanting to keep this moment forever.
Maria held her swaddled baby tight in her arms. Hot tears rolled down her cheeks and fell on the child’s face who was sleeping soundly through all the noise and terror. Her tiny lips started sucking and Maria smiled. ‘I love you, I love you, I love you,’ she whispered.
Maria kissed the baby’s head and, ignoring every screaming protest in her body, she leaned out of the window and let go. In slow motion she watched her baby fall into the outstretched arms ten floors below.
Slumping next to the cot, she sobbed as the black smoke engulfed her.
This story is based on eye witness accounts of a mother dropping her child ten floors at Grenfell Towers. Miraculously, a man on the street caught the baby and it survived. I cannot find any information about the mother or if she survived.