The One Not to be

The one not to be

I watch the crush of hands
as I hear my own lips
saying I’m sorry there’s no heartbeat
hold on hold on and hold tighter
then this won’t be true
I’ll blink and someone will say you’re dreaming
and I won’t be in my crisp uniform
with a plastic pinny and eyes full of empathy
for something I’ve never experienced
I won’t lean over her belly
pressing a doppler to my ear
with my eyes turning filmy with fear
for the woman whose day I should be making
whose heart I shouldn’t be breaking

but I’ll do it anyway my tears uncontained
and I’ll swallow the pebble in my throat
instead of retching
then I’ll leave them alone
to try to make their love enough
to carry them through


14 thoughts on “The One Not to be

  1. Bless you Gilly! 43 years ago this month, at 16 weeks pregnant, I heard those dreaded words and in those days we weren’t encouraged to grieve. I was told that it was a blessing in disguise, that I was young and healthy and could always try again. I did and under a year later I gave birth to a healthy daughter, mother of my grandsons. But at the time I felt that no~one cared about the one who wasn’t meant to be ~ wrapped in my own misery I never even gave a thought to how the staff must have felt.This wonderfully expressive poem has ~ after all these years ~ filled me with acceptance and deep peace. Thank you! ❤

    1. Dear Jacqueline, I’m sorry that you had to go through such a sad experience, but if my poem helped even a little bit then I’m happy. This is based on a real experience, I was present when my sister gave birth to a still born baby boy, something I’ll never forget,
      Thank you and take care.

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