April First Fools?

My wife wanted a Spring-born baby. Holly Hemmings was announced stillborn by the maternity hospital, ten days before her birth….We had prayed for a miracle. Holly was initially delivered by me, at 1 am in an isolated room, on April 1st, April Fools Day.

Her little brother,  aged almost four asked: “Isn’t it true when Jesus returns the baby will be alive?” We taught him bible stories but never taught that particular one. That was our miracle……And I know, that one new morning I will be able to give her an “overdue, long and loving embrace”. …

“He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” – Revelation 21: 4

ibi 3 (2)

petitionary prayer. heavenly hope.

resurrection stories recalled.

oil-anointed. tear-baptised.

ballooned belly. birth pangs.


faith fools?


nurse absence. semi-abandoned.

sepia sheet stain spreads.

pained postnatal scream.

expected stillbirth begins.

all quiet. dead quiet.


faith fools?


flat floppy face. abstract gaze.

inert body quickly cooling.

lifeless love. breathless baby.

limbs floppy. mouth mute.

offered embrace useless.


faith fools?


cardboard box coffin. doll dimensions.

stencil stamped black cross.

harsh edge. skin sliver souvenir.

limbs petal peeling. raw ripped.

refrigerated. not resurrected…


April first fools?


descent into dark. hope eclipsed.

pinioned palms. body splinter stabbed.

only son broken. mercy mocked.

heaven howled. holy curtain ripped.

barrier broken. death abolished.


Father forsaken?


unwound sheets. perfumed pile.

cool cavern. hesitant angels.

whispered words: risen indeed…

no more tears. the old has passed.

reunion promise when He returns.


overdue, my long and loving embrace!

ibi (1)

2 thoughts on “April First Fools?

  1. Louis and Liz. Your poem says everything; your faithfulness to God through the ups and downs of so many years. Holly is one of the privileged, tiny in body and complete in identity and person. Privileged because “with the trumpet call of God, the dead in Christ will rise first! After that, we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air… therefore encourage each other with these words.” 1 Thess 5:11. I know you know the words, but I wanted to write them, for myself as well as for you. With love.


    • Thank you for your kind response and for reminding me of half-remembered biblical truths. I call Holly my “little grenade of hope” that I trust will explode in people’s hearts and minds….


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