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. Wow. Rings true for so many. And presented with dignity but fierce truth of a hard reality. Great descriptions of the thin voices, and the thin sentiments, and the heavy cloak of regret.

  2. 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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