Little Clock

Her eyes fast forward through the scenes she's played.

A warm and milk rimmed baby boy, sleep slack against her shoulder as she hefts him for a burp.

A sturdy legged toddler kicking round a ball, skenning against the sun

A leggy youth awkward in his best shirt smiling, shoulder shelfing on his mum,

A son to grow, to outgrow her.

All halted like the stopping of a little clock.

She shyly shows the card they gave her on the ward.

I marvel, tears rising like fear in my throat to see the tiny print they made.

Who unfurled those tiny fingers?

Of a hand no bigger than my nail.

His weight five ounces

His length that of his mummies hand.

She wouldn't hold him though

But she's glad she has the polaroids they took.

She won't show them, they are for her alone.

Grief rises from her like a stink.

◄ Stockings

rejection ►


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Cate Greenlees

Tue 5th Jan 2010 14:06

Ive just come across this whilst Ive been trawling through December poems on the last minute as usual, looking for a winner.
I love this Rachel....its very moving, even heart rendering in its acceptance of a future which is never going to be. This is a winner to me.
Cat xx

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Rachel McGladdery

Tue 29th Dec 2009 12:08

Skenning is squinting in Lancashire mother came from Rossendale so I'm bi-lingual! :)

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winston plowes

Mon 28th Dec 2009 23:13

Loved this very moving piece Rachel. Shoulder shelfing (great) skenning (whats that?)

<Deleted User> (6292)

Sun 20th Dec 2009 19:55

My goodness , I am grief stricken. and moved to tears.

You have a wonderful ability with composition and words.
Augusta x

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Anthony Emmerson

Sun 20th Dec 2009 12:26

Hi Rachel,

Some carefully chosen words and phrases here; put together they perfectly illustrate the enduring pain and singular tragedy of such a loss. Very well crafted.


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Graham Sherwood

Sat 19th Dec 2009 22:19

You have a tremendous talent for tempting us with warm thoughts before stabbing us with icicles Rachel.

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Sat 19th Dec 2009 19:54

Wrenchingly sad. Every mother could identify with the pain this woman would feel. All of the images of the imagined child are acutely recognisable and beautifully depicted. I've never lost a child but this poem gives a haunting insight into that sadness.

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Ann Foxglove

Sat 19th Dec 2009 19:44

A really sad and moving poem Rachel, subtly told. The title is just right too. The most heartrending image I think is that she shows the print shyly. It would not be the first word one would think of, but it is so touching and so right.

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