X. Childless Mother


My children come to me in the night.
I hear their thin, airy voices calling
my name, and it startles me awake.

Each one lost before the fourth month,
All ignored except by me, but know this:
They had names, futures, destinies,
but I never got to hold them.

It wasn’t spoken of
after the deadening
well-wishing comments
of you’ll have another and
there must have been something
wrong with the baby.

I didn’t have another,
and all these years I have mourned
alone, silently, and without comfort.
Still, I hear their voices,
I imagine their dimpled baby hands,
Their graduations and weddings.

And I wait for them to come to me
in the night when all is quiet,
as their angels gather around my bed,
and they call my name.



Art: Richmond, VA 2014 by Virginia Galfo

4 thoughts on “X. Childless Mother

  1. This poem is replete with loss and grieving. So so horribly sad, and yet the poem’s voice feels so honest and without self-pity — while still revealing some of the painful reactions of others — that we, too, are drawn in and haunted by these babies who never came to full term.

    A brave poem!

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