Dragged into darkness by drugged sleep

needled hand snags on hospital sheets

you breathe somewhere

separate, cut out.


Surface again to fight in the long night

regain control of catheterized bladder

to be with you.

Pain will not stictch me to this bed,

though stitched I am.

Closed the hole they tore in me

to free you.


Apprehensive, cosseted in an ambulance

daring to hope;

keep breathing my son

I'm coming.

But gone I found you,

newly departed, cooling

unable to breathe or wait another moment.


Animal the cry leashed

held back by white fire

in belly separating but the veil won't tear

to return you to me.

Empty, bleeding womb.

Arms full, of your abandoned form.


Forever the return journey

welcome the bed and black the dreamless void

feed me morphine

send me there again;

his silenced cries are deafening.


No-one to cradle

No-one to dress

No silken hair to caress

No skin to bathe

No rose-bud lips to trace

No nose to marvel at

No tiny boy to suckle

No steady pull of life through nipple


Gone. And home the empty cot

the socks and stacks of blankets

never used. The tears refused;

keep them in to fill the space

where you practiced football.

Push them under ribs you strummed

with perfect fingers,

the duet of our hearts over;

mine beats solo

your beats not.


Listless the days that follow.

Unclear my purpose:

To carry this life with love

and in torture birth him

for nothing?

Cannot abandon motherhood

firstborn has need of me

stapling me to time

which promises to heal me,

in body maybe.

But empty I remain

for the son whose eyes

I never saw.

◄ Second Skin

Borderland ►


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Chris Co

Tue 18th Jan 2011 20:45

Very well written and very moving Petrova

My Best


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Elaine Booth

Tue 18th Jan 2011 20:44

So harrowing, Petrova. I can hardly let myself fully feel the power of your poem, it is so moving. Such powerful emotions expressed so vividly, so compelling. I think it is the holding back ("Animal the cry leashed / held back by white fire" & "The tears refused") that adds to the power of your expression.

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Andy N

Mon 17th Jan 2011 14:02

Powerful stuff, Petrova - particularly like the repeating of No in one of the stanzas, but it's a excellent piece throughout..

hope you enjoyed Wigan the other week.. if it's not too far out you should try 'guitars and verse' in bolton that i help my buddy, Jeffarama look after.

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Petrova Fairhurst

Mon 17th Jan 2011 13:23

Thanks Laura, it was a difficult but also a deeply profound experience which was hell to go through but later provided such immense learning and opportunity for personal growth - which is often the case... xXx

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Laura Taylor

Mon 17th Jan 2011 13:03

Petrova - this, as you already know, is incredibly powerful. I don't get emotional very often about poems, but this put goosebumps all over me, and tears pricked my eyes. Writing it out can be quite useful, helpful, cathartic, can't it? Thank you for sharing this, it's a hugely moving piece

Laura x

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Petrova Fairhurst

Sat 15th Jan 2011 21:48

Thank you Cynthia.

I have written many pieces for my son, Joseph.

This piece was written in September last year though the event took place in November 1991.

This type of pain, I think, never leaves, its something we learn to live with and is dulled with enough time.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sat 15th Jan 2011 21:29

I cannot know if this is a real life experience for you or not. But, regardless, your bold, gut-wrenching clarity of expression must make such a loss a little easier for someone in a similar situation, the expression of it is so vital.

stella jones

Sat 15th Jan 2011 18:55

Oh wow good write Petrova I particulary like the lines

The tears refused;
keep them in to fill the space
where you practiced football.
Push them under ribs you strummed
with perfect fingers.

When I read those I thought, Oh yes, these fit perfectly the emptiness of inside..x

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Dave Bradley

Sat 15th Jan 2011 00:10

A very good poem, Petrova, but clearly far far more than just a poem. Powerful as it is, no doubt it doesn't come near the reality.

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Fri 14th Jan 2011 20:21

This is very powerful stuff Petrova and the staple (no pun intended) underpins your work particularly well - you speak from the very depths of the heart

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