No warmth so fierce, no tender weight so sweet.
Warm limbs asleep against a mother’s chest.
The stuttering breath from barely parted lips.
The perfect peace and trust of child at rest.
Lay them down; release encircl’ing arms.
The aching tug does every mother know.
One last goodbye, they took you from my hands.
Like but yet unlike I let you go.
You too I held a time against my heart.
Your skin as soft, as supple when we met.
No warmth, no breath, your body feather light,
Too faint to sense but heavy with regret.
If I’d but held you closer, tighter still
Before I laid you in eternal rest,
The absence of your weight a weight itself,
Would it lie more easy on my breast?
Still I will thank God even for this ache,
For it insists you surely were my own.
As much my child as every child who lived,
United to me though I am alone.
And when I too am laid within my grave,
My soul will hold your soul as it should be.
So like King David I will wash my face.
“I’ll go to him, he’ll not return to me.”
Some things you’ve got to put in poetry. The final lines reference 2 Sam 12. Also inspired by the following quote from Jane Eyre. That’s right Jane Eyre, I’m not ashamed.
“I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you – especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land some broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.”