Motherings by Amy Soricelli

When I lost the first baby not on a bus or a train, 
it ran out of me like slow paint across the walls.  
It wrote promises in code keeping none of them.  
I spent a week in bed staring at the pictures on the calendar 
wondering if the small perfect girls on shiny white porches 
would ever replace the black hole in my heart.  
Everyone was sorry I lost the baby.
I dreamed of screaming down long tunnels 
shouting a name I never learned.  

When I lost the second baby not on a bus or a train, 
I had to have it pulled from me; a magnetic force 
of gravity against the earth.  
It started its slow descent into the whole of me 
and it was just dying, the doctor said, 
soon it would be nothing but what it could have been.  
I was spared the sorrow of labor and delivery 
by visiting a clinic for a quick hour of picket signs 
and posters of shame.  
I told them my baby was dead 
but they offered no comfort just a pamphlet.
It was over soon enough and I went home. 

I learned of life as it’s sprinkled with death. 
Always two sides of a coin. 
The hug after the slap, the broken shell
with its forgotten half-bird.
It was no surprise or difference to anyone, 
that when they handed my daughter to me,
this vibrant creature filled with breath and light; 
I checked for the steady beat of her heart first,
before placing her hand firmly in mine.  
Photo by Pixabay on

About the Poet:

Amy Soricelli has been published in numerous publications and anthologies including Dead Snakes, Corvus Review, Deadbeats, Long Island Quarterly, Voice of Eve, The Long Islander. Sail Me Away (chapbook) Dancing Girl Press, 2019.Nominated by Billy Collins for Emerging Writer’s Fellowship2019 and for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2013. Recipient of the Grace C. Croff  Poetry Award, Lehman College, 1975.

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