Daniel Joseph

We are young marrieds
and excited to be your parents
I’m a 21 year old nursing student
your father is a lineman
for the phone company

I’m impatient
to meet you face to face
touch your newborn skin
smell its purity
hold you to my breast

You arrive sweet and round
nine pounds, seven ounces
through a ‘smile in my tummy’
I watch the whole miracle
through mirrors set above
I see you are a son, my first born

Caught up in joy,
the kind new mothers know
I feel complete
We name you Daniel Joseph
We’ll call you Danny
Heaven never felt so close

You are loved and wanted
The nursery is ready
You have clothes and gifts waiting
My friends have been generous
I hold you in my hospital room

It’s the first time
you and me and the milk we share
Pride of your father fills the space
We are full of you
our love, our future

In the morning
comes the news
something is wrong
Your heart makes sounds
that don’t belong

They keep you in the nursery
“for observation,” they say
“Try not to worry, most likely
These things can be repaired later”
I’m scared

“We’ll keep you informed”
Try not to worry, these things happen.”
I freeze my mind
My belly hurts, tears are stuck
“Wait awhile,” they say. A day passes

The doctor visits with his nurse
It’s the middle of the night
and they’re not smiling
“We’re so sorry, there is nothing
we can do. The problem is severe
He is dying. We are so sorry—“

There is nothing they can do

They call my husband
and leave me alone
They don’t know what to do with me
neither do I
My heart is hollow

A violin without strings
I want to cry but tears are trapped
All I can do is wait another day
and look for God

I walk in the hall with your
father. Finally I can see you
though the glass of the nursery
Your color has lost its pink
You are turning gray

Someone takes your picture

No one offers to let us hold you
We don’t know enough to ask
I do not cry.
Your father cries

He is a large football playing
kind of man. I comfort him
He says he should be comforting me
shoulds have no meaning

I’m numb. He leaves for home
losing himself in grief
I lay waiting in my room in the dark
There is nothing they can do

My belly is sore
I don’t cry. I can’t sleep
I wait
There’s no lullaby in my soul

Shortly after midnight
your damaged heart stops fighting
Mine is broken
Your third day of life is brief

My friend and nursing instructor comes
She chose herself to be the one
to hold me in my darkness
She will not leave until I cry

My tears are too brief
to empty my great sorrow
I will never see you again on this earth
I cling to my faith in God
and pray for a heaven

I have your picture
Your father asked to see you
and he did
No one thought to ask me
My questions were stuck
along with my tears

Your nursery is emptied
along with my heart
You are placed to rest
in a tiny coffin on a hill

I pray to God
to let me see you again

I have your picture
I have your picture

Jean E. Taddonio


About geniecan

Born and raised in " America's finest City" received BS degree in nursing years ago... main career besides wife and motherhood ( and now a grandma)was as a hospice RN for 18 years...Take great joy in finding the good in all things and believing that " No Thing is Ordinary" the title of my blog. I am working on a children's picture book story named R-Qu.. a rock falls of his mountain. Writing poetry is one of my happiest things to do. Yoga, water aerobics,, gym exercise and walking our wheaton terrior, Finley, with my husband Jim are favorite things...oh yes...singing in the choir at Church and recognizing God as #1... are most important... I also have a home based business with magnetic and far intra red health care products..peace to all who read this, Love, Jeane
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