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I.

Strange, to say that a mother
has
‘lost’
her baby.
That such a wonder could be mis
-placed; such a love,
so careless.

It implies guilt and fault,
a moment
of inattention in
a moment
when there is anything
but.

Though who dares? Who brave or soulless
enough to speak the actual words that

A.
Child.
Has.
Died.

To name the thing? Give face to the fear;
voice to the dark?

Except the curse has fallen
without having been spoken.
A breathless and wordless strike.
No word, no breath,
could have or did have
stopped it,
despite our most loquacious prayers
which, in the end, were nameless.

II.

This loss runs contrary
to expectations
that our children
(a child)
are
(is)
innocent and inviolately safe because
we are there, inviolating.

For surely Joseph, just a man,
just a father,
was tense in his stabled vigil,
keeping watch of the sheep and ass and cattle
for signs of sudden movement.
Hooves behind this line because
this child is mine.

Son of God, yes; yet, too, Son of Joseph.
(Who was told the name, but
was he who gave it.)

Sent to protect but, first,
to be im/perfectly protected.

Our protection, in the end, is never enough.

III.

As, in less than a moment, did God speak
the Word,
so did your soul-spark catch and flame;
soft and sublime.
A light where there had been none.

As, in that un-moment, all that was/is/will be
flowered and filled Creation,
so did you expand and collide in measured beats
to become.

And so are you conserved.
Neither created nor destroyed,
neither present nor absent.

What has been named cannot be unnamed.
What dreamed, unseen.
What loved, in the end,

lost.

(Image credit: NASA, ESA; Acknowledgement: A. Aloisi [Space Telescope Science Institute])