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Poems on Miscarriage


Losing the Twins

There was no funeral for you
no caskets for your tiny bodies
no wreaths of teacup roses and baby’s breath.

I would have liked to have held you, even once.

There were no condolence calls,
Most people preferred to pretend it didn’t happen.
No one sent us flowers-
or even a card.

There were no announcements in the paper.
No one at my husband’s office knew why he missed work
That Day.
We didn’t even tell them I was pregnant (again)
or that I’d had a miscarriage (again).

The doctor brushed it off as “just another miscarriage,
why, you didn’t even have time to bond.
We’ll try again in a month or two.
Buy some more Pergonal.”

I walked in numb silence
and everyone said how well I’ve learned to handle these “things”
I didn’t cry in public this time
(I learned my lesson last time).
Amid curious glances at my crafts club I made two tiny angels,
painted your names on their backs,
sobbed alone at home as I hung them up on my
Christmas tree. Oh, my little darlings.

At Thanksgiving,
my husband’s sisters laughed about how FAT a neighbor down the
street has become-
she’s pregnant with TWINS you know
and no one noticed
when I quietly set down my spoon because the food
turned to ashes in my mouth
and my hand touched the flat belly that should be
swelling with two babies.

I haven’t learned to take it well
not at all
not a day not an hour not a minute
passes when I don’t remember what I’ve lost
what is missing in my life
how empty my arms are
how flat my tummy.

There are no cradles in my home
no babies in my arms
no milk in my breasts
no nights walking the floor
no one stopping me with coos:
“are they twins?”

I am a mother of twins with no twins
the mother of babies with no babies
and I haven’t learned to take it well.

Kathryn

To Edison & Emerson

“Mother-of-twins”
How proud I felt
to bear the label
that only “privileged”
mothers wear
“Chosen by God”
Mother-of-twins
Not one but two children
nestled beneath my heart
Then, in an instant,
one of you “vanished”
(“Happens all the time” they said)
And I was left with one
I begged you to stay
But you too were, apparently,
needed elsewhere
(Don’t Leave Me!)
The pain is so strong
My body-my heart,
But my arms ache so much to hold you both
And you aren’t here
“Mother-of-twins”
Yet no living proof
A silent badge now
and only we know
that grief does not
know numbers-or size-
or gestational age
You were both a part
of me-of us-
And you will always
be my children, my babies,
My Twins!

Cynthia