little one

this week your heartbeat has quickened
your movements have slowed
you’re readying to be born.

last night
i sat with your mother
as her body began to stretch and groan around her
doing what it needs to do to give birth.

and while it did we watched the news
and the tragedies of this week
made all the more real
by you
and your determination to be born.

we were silent in the face of the horror
that this is the world into which you will come.

little one

no cliches make sense of this week
no promises of the life that comes only through labour pains
no parallels that speak of how this birth will seem like death to you
but how it’s the only path to all that’s rich and wonderful,
waiting for you on the unimaginable other side.

they seem an insult, somehow.

because my deepest fear
is that to be born into new life,
the world needs that intuitive
longing for life
that you have now

and i do no know
how we will find that again.

so my only faithfulness today
is not to promises or hope
of a better day to come.

it’s just to wait
arms outstretched
to carry you in to this world
and to hold you with love.


  1. Libby

    I love that poem Cheryl. It reminded me of how I felt at September 11, two months before Zoe was born. What sort of world are we bringing our children into? Now I think, what skills and tools can we equip our children with to help them deal with the world in which we live. I think that is the love to which you allude at the end.

  2. Lyn


    Your words really echoed life – whilst there is laughter and excitement for someone else there is pain and tragedy.

  3. Cheryl


    hey lib, nice interpretation! i don’t think i consciously know what the love was i was alluding to. i’m always a little bemused by the endings of any poetry i write! coming over soon? maybe i’ll email you…

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