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Tuesday
Mar212006

A Poem About an Amniotic Embolism

This one was for Creative Writing and the prompt was something typically beautful, but put a twist on it to make it not sappy sweet. I chose the death of that mom I saw years ago. I made it fiction by adding that the baby died, too (he didn't). Here it is:

Sanguineous Shock

Pressed against the icy wall
As blue-green ghosts float into
And never out of
The ceremonial shadows.

Salient scalpels
Rip open the mound of flesh
Covering curls of fetus.
Within, silence.

Pulling and tugging
Freeing the trapped child,
Its hostess serves torrents
Of sanguine wine.

Thick/Searing death burns my senses
Her life spilled onto the sterile floor
Coagulating pools splatter beneath
Tormented servants.

Disbelieving, I watch.

Bags of gifted liquid are forced into her non-existent veins
Only to find their way out
Through her eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and pores.
Red is not a color that becomes her.

Slammed backwards in horror,
Her husband stares
Open mouthed,
Revulsion at his wife’s disembodiment.

Realizing the futility of resurrection,
Focus turns towards the newborn
Lying lifeless bathed in blood
That is not his own.

Tension screams the way his voice has not.

Doctors and nurses,
Drenched in blood
Collapse earthward
A place she will never walk again.

I, too, sink to the floor.

The lifeless child endlessly living
Only in the minds of others.

Splashing fists pound “God’s plan”
Their tears diluting her life’s force
That continues dripping from the table.
Faces are smeared with equal parts of death and guilt.

Despair permeates the now resigned attendants.
Sweat drips into pools of red icing the floor –
Caregivers unable to give care,
Providers without the skills to revive the lost –
Witnesses to each other’s pain.

I walk into the sunlight numb.

Reader Comments (1)

You had me at "a". Just to see something you've written again made me cry. Then I read and read and read...

All so _good._ I have to say you saved the best for last. The poem about you should be the first in your books when you publish. It must be the opening words giving hint to the beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful woman they will read.

I missed you. Thanks for making yourself vulnerable and sharing with us again.

XO Hh

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