Did unwanted visitor carry viral curse?
Unborn baby wrestled, now in need of nurse.
Scan-monitor stated heart-beat missing:
unrequited, fond tummy hugs and kissing.
Soon her faecal-tinted tide dam-broke,
no newborn wail, deathly silence spoke.
Tabula Rasa* – mouth mute, empty her gaze,
baby body floppy – little for poet to praise…
Little girl gone, gone – listless limbs held,
pointless heart-plead, dumb tears welled.
Unsure guarantee: harsh natured womb,
daffodil scent, death’s unhappy perfume.
Petal-peeled her flesh, just womb souvenir;
tentative my embrace, many paternal tears.
My lips didn’t linger, porcelain-cold her cheeks;
what empty words can this poet now speak?
We stoic parents sobbed, pained our prayer;
no nappy changes, her funeral to prepare.
Cruel joker smirked again, that April first –
Easter-empty tomb defiant, death reversed.
God not mocked, feeble faith rebounded,
young sibling spoke hope, parents astounded…
*Tabula rasa (Latin: “scraped tablet”, though often translated “blank slate”) is the notion that individual human beings are born “blank” (with no built-in mental content), and that their identity is defined entirely by events after birth.
My stillborn girl, Holly, was born April 1st. She was buried on Easter Monday, five days later.
illustration by Neringa Normantaite https://www.facebook.com/artistneringa/