Lydia, Who Never Was


I wanted you and I didn't want you.

Is that why you died?

I know you were there

you moved under my hands

-the skin would move, just so,

And sometimes

you tapped at me. The quickening.

Too small to kick.

When I felt the blood

I wept. It was wrong. I knew it.

Then we saw your heartbeat.

Then we didn't.

That was four hours later

in a hospital bed

Surrounded by my maidens and ladies

Who had seen this death before

Who did not know what to say.

Inducing contractions

I waited almost a day

To deliver

the water bag, you

And the placenta which betrayed me.

The placenta, with blood clots, whole,

Fully formed, that had ripped from

My uterus,

that couldn't keep its position,

like a silly chorus girl,

That had nothing wrong with it

said the autopsy.

Nothing wrong, she said, as she looked

At the tests.

Now I live in this mystery,

I remember holding your body like a feather,

I have no limit to my sadness,

I am astounded at my grief,

Which comes upon me

Like an ocean's edge,

Which leaves me silent

with your absent life.


No email address available
Anniversary date - 12-13-99
Date of post - 10-16-00

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