Tuesday, February 12, 2008

in the preemie ward

There’s a love that dies the very day
its born. It lies fresh
and pink in the incubator,
memories of its future
never-to-bes part of its
perfect beauty. Tiny fingers curl
not round love’s touch,
little lips breathe not
the winding words of love.

And you who bore it,
laden, craving, moody, swaying,
lumbering long months alone,
trace the plastic and glass
shell with fingertips begging
for another glimpse of life,
or even for the awful aching
time before the birth, when
it squirmed and kicked,
and you smiled, forming memories
of a love not yet formed, or known,
but cherished long,
longer than hope.

And you devote yourself to this
dear wee body, dim reminder,
lifting it tenderly from the
incubator and cradling it,
warming its fingers and toes,
lulling yourself in the dull
drowsy hour that it stirs,
dispels your chill, coos, lives,
gives its breezy breath to you
in a room shut – still.

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