The stillbirth

I was alive on the day of my birthday.

They told my mother that
She had gave birth to a still-born child
That her child was lying in the metallic tray
Kept just beside the door of the labour room
I was not showing any signs of life
Even after a cardiac massage-a resuscitation trial-a mouth to mouth respiratory effort
So they abandoned me with the coldness of the metallic tray
And you reverend mother
Believed every lie they uttered.

The candelabra like light over your head
Made you dizzy
The doctor with knife in his hand
Looking through the birth canal
Made you feel ashamed
So you forgot to fight the truth
To fight the death that awaited me
The death that remained unreal
For I could not die.
I remained alive, timeless
Through the memories of angels,
In the dreams of the debonair mystic
I existed inside the rhythm of the heart
And at the heart of the rhythm.
I am endless, immortal, legion
For I am many.



5 responses to “The stillbirth

    • I’m not certain if I can explain it in the sense that the poets often tend to reveal more than they intend to. I can only convey the experience and sudden epiphany that led to this poem. It was written following a grueling night of labour room duty where I could not save a newborn. While I was telling the mother about the loss, I saw in the eyes of that working class woman, not agony but vengeance. It seemed as if the body of the infant that I was discarding as dead, was more than a singular physical form, but a representative of multitude that we, in our everyday middle-class existence discard, marginalize, fail to acknowledge. Hence, the child is ‘legion’, the multitude that will shatter our heavenly existence and change our world.

      • However I omitted a few part in order to keep it more universal. I didn’t intend to divulge the very third world source of nature of the poem; I guess that’s why the confusion šŸ™‚

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