DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


In "The Mother," Gwendolyn Brooks writes honestly about the pain and anguish of abortion: "Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you all." Lucille Clifton wrote her own "Lost Baby Poem: ...the time I dropped your almost body down to meet the waters under the city and run with the sewage to the sea ... you would have been born into winter in the year of the disconnected gas and no car...." My own "lost baby" poem was written years after the event, but the emotion that inspired it was as fresh as it had been eleven years before I found the words.

Forgive me.
I never knew you,
(male or female?),
never heard your choked cries
there in your laboring bed.

I never dreamed the color
of your eyes,
never felt the wet push
of your head.

I never knew your body
curled in mine,
(female or male?), then
forgive me,
you were dead,
the sudden spreading blood
washed red from the sterile table.

I wonder again and again
what roaring incinerator
tended to ashes the tiny hands
I could not warm?
Did you know pain?

In my heart
I wrap you up against the rain
and ever we rock & lullaby
while Venus rises steady overhead.
I think my love
created you in vain. In my mind
your sleepy eyes
are blue.


Erin said...

*whew* What a painful subject to revisit, to write about. Beautiful evocative write.

writerwoman said...

Amazing poem and picture. Breathtaking and real.

About Me

My photo
1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.