Poems of Sorrow: Silent in the Womb

The loss of today often brings back the losses of yesterday, which we file away from our consciousness in order to carry on the practical tasks that fill one moment to the next.  In phone conversations, I have heard this from family who are processing our present loss.  My reaction is similar.  As I have been writing, and filing, memories in poems for decades, I combed back through the box at the back of the closet to find the poems, which I wrote 30 years ago.  For those needing history, my high school love, Rebecca, and I conceived a daughter who died before birth.  I will post three poems from that time, to touch on these memories.  I do not recall whether anyone, other than my dear friend from college, Christian, has read these poems of sorrow.  

Silent in the womb
Child with no laughter, no cry
Still within the womb
No movement of sparkling life.

We listen
No sound
No breeze to refresh the air.

Quietly we scan the depth
For any sign
Searching for an indication which does not exist.

We wait
No late arrival, delayed departure, nor rescheduled time
The station is bare
The platform empty.

Silent in the womb you lie
Son whom I never knew
Silent in the womb you lie
Daughter who will never bloom.

I wrote this first poem the day that the fetal heart monitor went silent.  The image that I recall is standing, waiting for the bus to take me to work on a grey, December day in Seattle, WA.


About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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6 Responses to Poems of Sorrow: Silent in the Womb

  1. The Vicar says:

    Thanks for sharing Hermit. I remember those difficult days. As challenging as they were, the winter of 1980 and the spring of 1981 mark a time when I began to sense that we might actually start acting like brothers someday. In the absence of Mom and Dad, and at a great distance, there seemed to be a thawing in the coldness that had grown while we lived in the same home. A sense of family grew where little connection had existed before. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share our adult lives together. This isn’t to say that “blood is thicker than water”, I just really like you now! Sorry I was such a self-protecting boor growing up.

    • hermitsdoor says:

      I agree. I admire the efforts that you and Nancy took at that time. We had a lot more years of growing together and other losses to experience. As emotionally draining as those may still be to revisit, and as much as we might never wish those events toward another person, we would not be able to share our love now, if you were still so boorish and I so self-righteousness. 🙂

  2. Karen McKenney says:

    I too lost a child in the womb — between Ben and Nick… your poem touched my heart and took me back.

    • hermitsdoor says:

      Though our activities take away from these events, which others may or may not know about, remembering them can be as strong as at the first. I took 30 years to revisit this.

  3. kjpgarcia says:

    Wow, this is a powerful and sad piece.

    • hermitsdoor says:

      Thank you for reflecting on these poems and commenting. Also, thank you for responding to the poems which I wrote about the photos on your site. I was trying to figure out what the format was. The images, obviously, inspired thoughts. I will get back to exploring more of your site later.

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