This poem is a guest post. When it appeared on social media a couple of weeks ago, I was deeply moved and knew it was a special piece that would touch many. I asked this wonderful woman if I might share it, and she did not hesitate to say yes, which speaks volumes about her generosity and openness. She also offered a personal drawing, which she says represents female loss as much as it does this specific experience.
Her name is Jess Torres and she is a survivor; a beautiful creative; and a gentle warrior sharing some of life’s hardest stories and experiences.
I suppose I should offer a word of warning that the poem and accompanying photo and hand drawing may be triggering for some who have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or loss of a baby and therefore you may choose not to read on.
But i’d prefer to suggest that if you’re concerned you may be affected, find an appropriate time to savour this short heartfelt piece, and a trusted person to cry with.
Poem For Willow
We named you Willow.
It is around this time we would have brought you home,
Swaddled you in muslin and lay you in a cradle that we had lovingly prepared.
For such a fleeting time,
Your heart beat inside my belly,
And although nature had other plans,
I am still your mother.
I’ve been told I should hide you away,
That I should have hidden you before and that I should be hiding you now.
But I am a bearer of truth;
A queen among women who have loved and bled.
I wear my crown of thorns so low that sometimes it blinds me.
And I am acutely scarred.
Beneath the clay and daisies we lay your tiny body, wrapped in gauze.
Your hand too tiny to hold.
For nine months my body ached to nurture you, grow you…
Give you the opportunity to breathe, to feel, to love.
And now that your arrival date has come to pass,
I have to accept that your hand will always be too tiny to hold.
It forms part of the most fragile of bodies;
As if you’re the perpetual inhabitant of a snow globe.
(Your hand too tiny to hold)
I untie the yellow ribbon from the weeping fig I planted for you.
And I make myself a cup of tea.
** If you would like to write to Jess, she has generously offered her email address and welcomes responses: firstname.lastname@example.org **
You can also scroll down to leave a reply in the comments, please do if you feel inclined.
If you are struggling with miscarriage, stillbirth, or loss of a baby at any stage, here are some links for organisations that can offer support. Please don’t go through this alone:
SANDS Miscarriage, Stillbirth and newborn death support (website and support line)
Bears of Hope (pregnancy & infant loss support)
And as always, if you’re feeling a bit raw or you want to ask me a question, just fill out my contact form to get in touch with me directly. X