To all women who have lost their babies to avoidable circumstances at childbirth. Deep and lucid poetry from Susan L. Daniels.

Susan Daniels Poetry

I have seen them, gravid
& walking with the honey heaviness
of mothers round as plums,
ripe & stretched over fullness
& eager to meet what kicks
beneath their hands

they have felt fluttering
in the domes of their bellies,
laughed with those turns
& learned new heartbeats
threading under their own,
a welcome otherness

but here, underneath scars
that tethered us
to our own mothers
a threat blooms alongside hope

this close to life death happens. obscene
how bodies break & empty easy as eggs
even in their fruiting

life is cheap
they say & it must be
if it spends so casually
each lost heartbeat
adds up
counted in pennies

& we keep adding
shiny words explaining loss:
religion, cultural context,
mismanagement

how do you tabulate tears
in actuarial tables

i have numbered the bones

ac-
count-
ability

measured in shoulder shrugs
& head shakes
while a woman
who cradled life
in the bowl…

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5 Comments

    1. Hi Susan, your poem sent shivers down my spine. So simple yet the depth is amazing. I share Victor’s loss – who wrote in as a guest in my blog. Nonetheless, my pain and thoughts reside not only with Victor but to the many who have lost their babies due to human but avoidable errors. Thanks again for stopping by.

      Reply

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