Sunday, August 12, 2012

Quenched

Stepping with bare toes across
meadows of balsamroot
I glide swiftly on grasses
soft from last night’s rain.

Quietly slipping between rocks
I meet the gush of spray;
with full pupils down,
tiny rivulets cascade my bare shoulders.

Droplets form and cling precariously
to my hair, responding as I shiver;
a flirty audience of aquilegia formosa
quivers with the steady rush.

The voice of the waterfall
is a mighty quenching of everything;
a gushing spray of explosion and tranquility, reverberating
like the sound of a mother’s heart in a growing womb.

I didn’t come here to grieve, only to soak
in the majesty of a paradisiacal place;
but my heart remembers and wishes I could have buried you here,
instead of where you ended up, in pieces, on porcelain.

I feel embryonic in the moment, wholly enveloped, naked, treasured.
Coming alive in the lusty boom, I scream, and moan,
and grieve, leaving everything here on these ancient stones—
laboring with the violent echo of women’s loss before mine.

I hold hands with the knowing barren wombs
and weep the deficit that will never feel your sigh at my breast,
your pink mouth to my skin, see the shine of accomplishment in your eyes.
They know how I feel—you were brief, but you were mine.

I let you go, but still carry you with me as I push through;
emerging back into the sun of life, weaker and stronger,
spent, and refreshed, sprinkled with pure minerals,
with lilac and wild lavender, and just a hint of baby’s breath.


Copyright 2012 Jennifer Wagner

found in The Beautiful Sadness, dVerse and Poets United: Poetry Pantry

46 comments:

  1. oh dang..this brought tears to my eyes.. a friend of mine lost her unborn baby and i know how she suffered.. love that you found peace in nature, great images with the barefoot on grass, soft with night rain and the wild lilac and lavender... a very emotional, beautiful and felt write..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Claudia, thank you, it was emotional for me to write, cathartic too...as you know how writing is. Much thanks.

      Delete
  2. A beautiful sadness! Especially love the image of "the voice of the waterfall" and the final "hint of baby's breath"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those lines are the bookends of the piece for me. Thanks for commenting Gemma :)

      Delete
  3. It's a tragedy to lose an unborn.You've very vividly described the beauty of the feelings of life in you. Very good write!

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is there beauty in sadness? There is here! I am a little lost for words right now. I sense the depth of your sadness, but also the beauty of mother nature soothing your spirit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tino, thank you, that is a great compliment to me.

      Delete
  5. wow...there is sadness on many levels in this...you open though with some wonderfully beautiful imagery with the falls...love to visit them myself...we have several nearby...like the sound of a mother’s heart in a growing womb...have never thought of it that way but i like it...and it plays well with the barren womb later....heavy with emotion...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sound of the falls does remind me of that sound from the fetal doppler. Glad you like it--thanks much Brian :)

      Delete
  6. "I let you go, but still carry you with me." Depthful words, and how well I hear them. I think losing an unborn child would be very hard, especially because I think a lot of people around don't understand how deeply the mourning... Your poem takes the reader through part of your mourning process and helps the reader to more fully understand!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are thoughtful and perceptive Mary, there is that "difficult for others to understand" element in it...not necessarily out of sensitivity but out of inexperience. I didn't get it until I went through mine. Thanks for your lovely comment.

      Delete
  7. Oh, this touched me deeply as I had a miscarriage before, my first baby ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heaven, thanks for sharing. It means a lot that it touched you.

      Delete
  8. A tragic poem, full of longing. I really like the images of the waterfall - "The voice of the waterfall is a mighty quenching of everything;" a testament to the powerful cleansing symbolism of water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad the longing came through in the piece. Water is a great symbol--thanks Photo!

      Delete
  9. I didn’t come here to grieve, only to soak
    in the majesty of a paradisiacal place;
    but my heart remembers and wishes I could have buried you here...

    These words hit hard, and give context to your lyrical description.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you much Kerry--I appreciate your comment.

      Delete
  10. I'm lost for words here. Beautiful piece. Awesome images. And also, your blog is simply plain beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment touched me Dennis, such wonderful compliments. Thank you.

      Delete
  11. "the voice of the waterfall" stanza breathtakingly beautiful. the way you take the vivid image you've painted and begin to touch on the mother's heart before is like placing us at the top of the waterfall just before it crashes over the edge.

    the fall absolutely beautiful sadness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks RMP, very much. I truly appreciate your thoughts, as always!

      Delete
  12. Such beautiful writing, about nature and grief, each informing the other. This is a very moving ode, with such beautiful descriptions of the physical setting, and of the pain of loss - I love the hint of hope at the end "with lilac and wild lavender, and just a hint of baby's breath." So lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sherry, for this valuable appraisal of my piece.

      Delete
  13. This is so so good. Honest, human, emotional. I love the contrast between nature, the waterfall, the beautiful surroundings, and then the nostalgic thoughts, the grief, the reflection....and it is this that makes this so beautifully sad....great job....I think you nailed it 100%

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Stu, I so value your assessment of it. Much thanks for a great prompt too!

      Delete
  14. Hi there! Great poetry. Please check out my new poetry blogzine and submit your best work: brevitypoetryreview.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. like a previous commenter i'm simply lost for words here... the last few stanzas literally took my breath away

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lazy- I'm truly honored by your compliment. Thank you very much.

      Delete
  16. Replies
    1. A very great compliment to me Doodles, so appreciate your words.

      Delete
  17. I won't sully the pure beauty of this poem with mere adjectives. This piece really touched me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm honored by your words Laura. Your comment means a lot.

      Delete
  18. Gorgeously written. I loved how your word choices echoed throughout. Exquisite capture of emotion.

    ~Paula

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paula, thank you very much, a great compliment indeed.

      Delete
  19. Replies
    1. Glad you think so rallentanda, thank you for commenting.

      Delete
  20. Oh, Jennifer...this is aching, haunting--definitely beautiful sadness. I can't begin to imagine the pain of loss, although as a nurse I've been through it second hand. If there are any anthologies that deal with the subject of miscarriage, you should submit this...or maybe you should edit one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, thanks! Your words really encourage me Victoria, you've got me thinking... :)

      Delete
  21. your words took my breath away. i cannot imagine the level of grief of losing a child. you interwove such beauty with the mourning ~ your imagery is stunning! an amazing response to the prompt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I take pleasure in those compliments myhearts. Thanks so much for your lovely comment.

      Delete
  22. Very hard subject for me. Nothing can prepare for the loss of a child or the grief that ensues. Beautifully and soulfully written!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel for you mysinsations...thank you for your visit and kind comment.

      Delete
  23. Even more beautiful this time through - "you were brief, but you were mine." Yes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for feeling it again Sherry-- so nice to have the return visit to it. And yes, brief but mine.

      Delete

Thank you for your thoughts!