Gnashing and gnawing at my innards
Viscera shredded; trauma tombs embedded
Stitch in bells, weigh down the nauseating flapping
Jangle a euphonious jingle
Steady placement of chinked shield
There my guilt brims
Shame for wishing away rapid cell division
Liquor and voluntary scalding
Natures way away
Life folding poured out
Out of Order; terror of disorder
For two, a freshly dug hole
The morning after
Nipping at heals with the snow
A hollow in another garden
There, a piece of my heart lays
A depression for my first’s succession
She wants to see my torment on display
To harvest in morbid grief games
Pretend she’s just the same
Yearning to reap from the suffering leaks of my soul
Observe my lamentations trapped in a fishbowl
To don a cape, be in control
Prodding my wounds, infecting
Imitation empath storing stories
Catalogued, indexed, held hostage
Latching of grief vampires
Sucking ephemeral life’s marrow
Chipping stones off my bones
An archaeologist scraping the shovel
No delicate brushing of bristles
Desecrating my pain
Self-appointed steward on my cradles grave.
Rolling rumbling tumbling of the muscle
Steadfast working out the dead
Waiting through waves
Expulsion from womb to world; inner-outer dimension switch
Existence given visibility
Life unviable; dead tangible
The ticking clock veiled agony; pulse-quickening within the neck
Swimming through minutes in viscous shards; stark, exposed in wait
A sudden burst to cemetery-serene-silence
Shock of expectations met, tension swells and pops within the void
Her body expelled, revealed
Limp, still, disturbingly perfect
Few eyes lay upon her — none with such desperate thirst as the child-loss-mother
Tattooing details to memory
Cerebral and uterine imprints
Memories outlived instantaneously
Tiny fingers, toes, torso, fused eyes, jaw, ears…
All except the beating of the heart
Virgin lungs void of air in this, her death hours stare
My pathetic heart beats so hard it chokes the throat
The muscle has pried itself from within its cage, making way up to swell in the gullet
Don’t take her away…
Emotion sickness swells drowning from the inside
Even dead, she’s still the baby; even dead, she’s my baby, still
Must give her honour of life…somehow
Gemini mother; creator, reluctant reaper
Now her death feeds life
Entangled in root tendrils within the earth
Forever reaching within and upward
The true heart of something that doesn’t have to beat
Her cycles visibly viable
Bleary eyes can’t always see their praise of stars
Despair wracked the heart for a time
Peace isn’t only for the dead…
She sways in the wind now; dancing grace
Energy shared, scattered through leaves and bellies of beasts
She worms and she soars through them
Not the life imagined; energy shifted, realigned
Heart-wrenching, gut-punching beautiful
Death Born Still — Lives
© Natasha Sinclair 2020
Written on reflection during ‘The Wave of Light’ 15th October 2020.
This picture doesn’t look real…
Like there’s a filter; to enhance, to hide, deceive the eye.
Shielding a painful reality; it was a painful reality.
The mind, like the camera, does this all on its own.
This picture doesn’t look real…
A reflection of how it felt; a blue hue, a hazy dream.
Everything thrown out of balance.
A reality that swallowed you up, yet one that could barely be touched.
Spinning lost through electrical sparks.
A new reality at the edge of everything.
At the edge of all the mattered and all that didn’t.
A steady calm or frozen panic; so close to the same.
Something else on the edge; the blurred borderline where the unreal is real.
© Natasha Sinclair
Read more about our experience through NICU in my deeply personal memoir, ‘One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: A story of love & survival through NICU.’
The breeze wafted through the thick deep orange curtains. Bathing the drab third floor flat. Manky midden air from the rising summer heat mingled with the rising damp of the crumbling tenement walls. A fresh lick of paint only tricked the eyes. Festering rot just beneath that thin surface. Gemma sat in the corner of the living room, face blotchy red in desperate tears. Huddled into her baby wrapped in his pale blue teddy blanket. Dead. Still. Rocking back and forth quietly sobbing; “I just needed you to stop screaming, just for a minute.”
“You can wake up now, Teddy…”
(C) Natasha Sinclair 2019.
Previously published by Writingwriters.net for Drabble #5