Each year, since 23 May 1973,
she remembers the child who never was.
The child who is and never was.
She hears the nurse say, ‘don’t look.’
Could anyone not look?
As if by not looking, he could be forgotten.
Forty years on
the shroud of grief cobwebs yet;
tightens her chest, tautens her neck.
Babe dead, mother dying inside.
She still sees his fingernails, perfect hands and feet.
Legs curled, foetal, just
as he lay inside her.
Still wanted, still loved, still missed.
Each year she thinks of the child
who never was.
Polly Stretton © 2012