Elizabeth (15 minutes)

held in mother arms
too soon

rocked by a body
she should be
joined to still
by that rope of blood
now cut

from weightless swimming

into light
before eyes are ready for it

to air before lungs
can use it

gasping for & grasping
in small fingers
this 15 minutes

her lifetime

yes, loved;
yes, named,
but sucking useless air

& gone

how do you stand
in this circled hurt

& call this right?

you stand in a place
where God belongs
& call this His will

if there was room for it
mercy could have
held all of them tightly
through this
first mourning

& one passing perhaps
through no pain at all

though she was without breath
from the beginning
& therefore voiceless

her suffering shouts loudest of all.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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7 Responses to Elizabeth (15 minutes)

  1. nelle says:

    Well done, Susan, well done.

    Choice should reside with the one person who knows her body best. Let no one impose such horror. And least of all, have the common decency to keep from public sharing outlook declaring the outcome worked as intended.

  2. This is sad, so intensely sad.Neonatal mortality marks mothers so indelibly – and creates a void that howls to be filled Your lines are strong and the imageries very powerful. This poem leaves some moisture in these aging eyes of mine!

  3. Tears can’t wash the pain in my heart reading this~ thank you.

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