i dreamed of babies last night
or, more to the point,
just of one
which i carelessly lost,
mid dream.

by memory,
(and in the way of dreams
it’s a little misty)
i left the baby outside the front of the church
turned my head for just a moment
and then baby and buggy were gone.

we (me and the host of searchers
who wafted helpfully into my dream from its edges)
looked in all the usual places
(which, retrospectively, may have been the problem)
but we couldn’t find the baby.

and in the end – not that the end took long to come-
I shrugged my shoulders
in an absent kind of way
moved on
and woke up.

i quite liked the dream on waking.
it had been a stolen dream, from a stolen moment of sleep
when i should have been up
getting ready for work.
‘that’s one worth remembering’,
I thought.
though seconds later i forgot it
when thoughts turned to coffee
and outfits
and being late
and formidable deadlines

but then on the train it came back
in a rush

how easily i lost the baby.
how quickly i turned my head.
how readily I woke up without regret.

and i knew it was my soul
praying the prayer
i haven’t had the words
or the faith
to pray
this advent

and i wished i could go back to bed
to whisper it out loud


i’ve lost it
the tiny promise of new life
it was just here
i was just holding it
and now I’ve lost it

but don’t give up on me,
little one,
I’ll keep looking for you
and I know you’re looking for me

and if we happen to find each other
(and i so pray we do)
i won’t be so careless
as to let go of you again.


  1. craig mitchell

    well… I’m going to stop giving a commentary. just to say that I appreciate this. and that I have a stunning reflection by a Catholic sister who talks about being declared dead in the middle of her bith (by the doctor) and then revived by a nurse “who believed in the spark of life in her”. It is also about not throwing someone away because we don’t believe in the spark of life in them. I’ll have to send it to you.

  2. Cheryl

    i’d love to read the reflection.

    please don’t stop giving commentaries… i’m not going to put anything up that’s so precious i couldn’t bare anyone to critique! i’m trying to learn how to write, so i have to have people who’ll say ‘that’s crap…’.

    it all feels so indulgent, really, to even be putting things up for public consumption…

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