Losing a baby, in poems

These first three poems are from 2006, when our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. You can read the story at HoboMama.com.

Death of the Firstborn

"This Birth was hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death." — T.S. Eliot

They all look quite like you at that age,
          and dead like nothing at all,
          a clot of purple-gray, sticky and wrapped with strong, black ribbons.

Feeling you leave in a gush of pain and red,
          in the blackest and loneliest part of the night,
was a hard & bitter agony,
          like giving birth,
giving birth to death.

Why were we led all that way, and never to see your face?
How could I do this again?
Death of the firstborn,
          and God spares no one,
          because why should we be passed over?

End of the Bleeding

Who knew I’d feel this desperate
To hold on to the bleeding?

To realize I can trade in maxi for mini,
And I insist on the industrial-size.

A few more drops of liquid life,
And you’re gone, little one,
Along with all that housed you.

My uterus is an empty rented house,
Scrubbed clean,
Waiting for the next inhabitant.


"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies. Do you believe this?" — Jesus

Robin like the hope of spring
Robin like the blue of an egg, the peace of that blue filtering through me and healing

We buried you, Robin,
or maybe it was umbilical cord or placenta or blood (but let’s believe),
in the hardy mum that weathered
summer and winter, drought and flood,
one journey from East Coast to Midwest in the oppressive droopiness of summer,
and one from Midwest to West Coast in the blasting chills of winter,
and even my unmotherly indifference.
Will I one day be a Hardy Mum, Robin?
I feel more like a Bleeding Girl.

Robin, a unique mix of two people who loved you,
and we’ll never know if you had brown eyes or Irish green,
or if you skipped the odds entirely and went with your namesake blue,
like a daring surprise in a nondescript nest.
Would you inherit my chirping child’s always-singing voice,
your dad’s flights into the airy forgetfulness of thought,
my persistent hopefulness for a green thumb as I dig in the dirt?

Robin like a wish
Like a wish
Like a wish

And from this year, on Day 16 of the PAD Challenge, where the prompt was to write a death poem:

Mother after miscarriage

I hardly think of you anymore, Robin,
dear forgotten boy.
Tucked into the roots of the hardy mum,
just a few cells now dissolved,
nutrified, drawn into
the plant that sends out its blooms
early this year,
to remind me.

Poetry of a Hobo Mama: The First Three YearsYou can read more miscarriage and mothering poetry in Poetry of a Hobo Mama: The First Three Years,
available on Amazon and CreateSpace.

Robin egg photo courtesy Karen Barefoot on stock.xchng


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