“The No Baby Poem” by Clare Shaw.

There will be no ceremony
in a quiet wood for this. Today
the sun does not matter.
You have simply not made it
into existence. All science, all alchemy
have failed from the start.
There is only this
injury, nameless and wet.

You are everything I know now
of loss, the perfect
grey weight of it, constant,
which has turned down the light
in my face.

Had just one moment
of one month been different,
you would have been born
into winter.
We would have made the drive
in the late afternoon,
past front rooms in Luddenden
yellow with warmth
a jewelery of light in each window
to see you erupt like summer
into our hands.

No-show, non-event,
we have lost you
to a world where there is no word,
even for absence.
Whatever could have made you
is irrelevant. Today,
the slightest breeze could blow me
clean away.

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