April the Seventeenth

April the Seventeenth –
I look across to the other pillow
And see your face, and
I want to tell you of that other morning,

Years ago, so long ago,
When I got out of bed with a different husband
While the world was still dark.

It was snowing when we drove to the hospital –
April the Seventeenth and snowing –
A grey and gloomy morning.
Our hearts, too, were grey.

Have you ever tried to pretend
You weren’t in your body?
It was the only way to survive that day.

Test results showed problems with the baby.
Kind doctors offered compassionate advice.

April the Seventeenth –
In 1992 it was Good Friday,
A day of death and grieving,
A reminder of betrayal and cowardice.

Christian was the name we had chosen
Before we knew, while I knitted a sweater
And tried to figure out where to fit another little boy,
His brothers playing on the living room rug

Science can tell us what is wrong with a fetus.
Science has nothing to offer breaking hearts.

April the Seventeenth
Would not have been his birthday,
But it is the day I remember
The snow, the grey sky, the emptiness.

You listen kindly.
Your arms wind about me while I tell you
Stories of the person I was then,
April the Seventeenth.

23 thoughts on “April the Seventeenth”

  1. Tonight I fed my friend’s baby his bottle. There were a couple of tims he almost didn’t make it. How horrible that would be. How horrible it must have been.

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