The Stillborn

In a crumpled bed of blood and free-flowing love
My child is borne. Let me hold him close,
Let me behold him in his fairy-winged sleep,
Let me bathe him with my milk and unshed tears
That had awaited his first cry, sprouting open,
Unfurling the soft petals of his sleep.

His tiny fingers folded, resolute,
His curled up limbs, his body like a sonnet
Unfolding before eternity, do let me
Hold him close until his cry merges
In whirlwind, in spirals, in harmony
With my never-ending lullaby.

What is this tingling wave
Of pain in the folds of my muscles?
This soreness, swelling of my nerves,
My bones crackle, the monitor and the machinery
The bubbles of conspiracy lull me to sleep.
I won’t succumb to the call of sleep till I hold
My crying baby, till I don’t feed him,
Look into the verse, the melody of his face
The valley of my body gleaming with
The first ray of my newborn’s smile.

I am not a part of this vicious silence, this numbness around.
The room stinks with your hushed conversations,
Your measured intrusions and the smell of sedation.
Whose demon hands plunged into the room
And plucked my cherub?
Can’t you see my body bursting open in pain
And surrender, to see him cry?
To settle him in the soiree of my bosom?

The silence of the room, numinous, resounding,
Calls you, my baby. I hum, in voiceless notes,
Your unsung lullabies.

Footnotes: My humble dedication to the mothers in all parts of the world who have lost their little angels during childbirth. This poem is written in the voice of a delusional woman who believes her stillborn child is alive. All my sincere thanks to The Woman Inc Poetry Project for this writing prompt and for all your wonderful poems in response to it.

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