July/August 2022

After She Falls Asleep

by Veronica McDonald

After she falls asleep

Her hand stays on my face 

Drool traveling down

Her arm from a mouth hanging

Hovering around a wet thumb

I lay beside her staring at the purple pink

Warmth in her night-lights thinking about 


How He could be who He says He is why do I 

Believe? doubt catches my throat and anger

And anxiety rise until the reality of hope in

Things unseen washes over me cleansing the

Black night out of my lungs helping me breathe 

And be—just be—the one the girl loves

The one that He loves

Under the pink and purple lights

Under the weight of her hand

I wrote “After she falls asleep” during my own transformation, as I moved away from the lies of atheism to God’s truths. After I became a Christian, every night I’d lay with my small daughter and contemplate the reality of God. My biggest struggle during those nights was doubt. I had been a skeptic for so much of my life, that even though I had felt God’s presence and His love, and seen His goodness, I was plagued by doubts for months after my conversion. These doubts would occasionally build up, bringing all the vestiges and feelings of the “old me” with them: anger, fear, anxiety, hopelessness. But every time, God in all his grace and mercy, would soothe me back down, quiet my soul, and continue His transformation of my heart and mind.

About the Author

Veronica McDonald is a fiction writer, poet, visual artist, and founding editor of Heart of Flesh Literary Journal. She is a former atheist turned Christian, and thanks Jesus everyday for turning her world upside down. Visit her at veronicamcdonald.com.