My beautiful, perfect baby girl,
You arrived one sweltering June night
with the precious gift of motherhood.
How my arms ached to hold you, but a myriad
of tubes and lines supporting life
imprisoned and immobilised you
in that sterile, clinical place.
So near, yet just out of reach.
I tried with all my might to bear it,
I really did.
But finally overwhelmed by a desperate need
to comfort you,
I plucked madly at those hated tentacles
like a doomed chicken
in one of those cruel little cages.
But the doctors pulled me away,
said I'd harm you.
So I watched over you from afar,
rarely eating, never sleeping,
my heart breaking at the sight
of your tiny, helpless form lying there
so, so alone.
You appeared abandoned, unwanted
and it hurt so
that I couldn't show you
how wanted you were.
When no one was watching
I crept quietly closer
to catch a glimpse
of your beloved face.
Those sad little eyes flickered open
and looked straight into mine.
A single tear slipped out
to trickle slowly down
your soft, tender cheek.
I knew in that instant that I was going to lose you.
This was your goodbye.
No amount of reassuring could convince me otherwise.
I had received my mortal wound.
They led me away then,
and the next time I saw you
those wretched tubes had gone.
They placed you unfettered in my arms.
So I finally got to cuddle you,
attempting to wrap my entire body around you
as protection from the palpable sense
of impending doom.
But it was too late.
You were already slipping away.
You wriggled, coughed feebly,
then you were gone.
A howl escaped from the depths of my being.
A guttural, inhuman sound
like a dying animal in agony,
a Spirit burning in hell.
It seemed to be coming from
somewhere far off,
echoing around stark hospital walls
and back to me. Deafening.
Falling to my knees,
I clutched your tiny still warm body
close to mine,
as if I could somehow hold you here,
cheat death itself,
with willpower alone.
I begged Ariadne to take my life
instead of yours,
bargained and implored.
But it must have been her day off,
because I had to face coming home
with gorged, aching breasts
and empty arms.
After twenty-one years
I'm missing you still and mourning
the things we've never shared.
Mother and daughter things,
like first bra and first period,
first boyfriend and shopping for clothes.
But what tortures me most of all
is that I never had the chance to tell you
I LOVE YOU
with all my heart and soul.