GHOST CHILD

© Brenda Joy, 2019

Winner 2021 Tom Black Memorial Award,  Eyre Writers, Port Lincoln South Australia.

I was warm within the confines of the sharing of our lives
as the rhythm of our heartbeats intertwined
for dependency on nurture’s how a waiting soul survives
ever turning,
ever yearning,
just as nature has designed.

But I felt the scalpelled traumas – too invasive to forget –
with the promise of my future torn aside
while you suffered the bombardment of immediate regret
ever seeping,
ever weeping,
anguished screaming as I died.

I have watched you moving onwards past the shattering of grief;
I have seen the healthy children that you bore,
yet I knew that my replacements could not conjure your relief
ever surging,
ever urging,
ever wanting something more.

In the background of your mothering, that constant, nagging need
hurling shadows on your moments in the sun.
Festered scarring from your hidden wound still causing you to bleed
ever staining,
ever paining
for your first forsaken one.

Rooted fragments from another world spread tentacles like weeds
that have wrapped around your heart’s protective shell,
wedged in cracks between the pavement of the daily routine needs
ever breaking,
ever aching
from the secrets you won’t tell.

Throughout seasons of your life-phase I have watched your hair turn white
while, despite the birth of grandchildren, you pine,
in the labyrinth of thoughts that stalk the blanket dark of night
ever shaking,
ever waking
when remembrance chills your spine.

When it came to my abortion, you were pressed to make that choice
when ‘Society’ imposed its moral will.
So you lost the right to listen to your own internal voice
ever sounding,
ever pounding –
and the outcome haunts you still.

I was never manifest, I only live within your heart

and there’s no one else who knows that I am there.
From the moment that I joined you, we could never be apart,
ever sobbing,
ever robbing,
ever forcing you to care.

Oh, they didn’t give you warning of the pain you would go through –
for a mother’s love is forged within the womb.
What we might have been together is an innate part of you
ever casting,
ever-lasting –
epitaph upon a tomb.


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