Monday, July 9, 2012

Baby, Ignored

The baby lies on the delivery slab, moments old.
White vernix paste marbles the infant's skin.
The stuff smells sweet, like holiday shortbread,
a trick up the wild sleeve of nature
to encourage mothers to lick their newborns clean.

But this mother has left the building.
She pushed the baby out without passion,
releasing it into the void of abandonment,
worth no more to her than the toileted regurgitation
of a drunken binge.
She would flush it, if she could.
Push the handle and watch a season of derision
swirl away and disappear.

People walk by like the baby is already dead.
The silence is oppressive.
Even the child knows better than to fuss.
It watches the funereal procession
of powerless people who honestly don't give a shit
waddle by with their eyes averted,
thinking of their thing, the big thing, 
the thing that will make their pockets fat
as the meconium pooling in their cranial cavities
strangles their reduced capacity for love
and their long-lost ability to believe.

In the face of such harrowing neglect
the baby pisses on itself and dies,
final hubris lost on those who clean up the mess.


  1. Replies
    1. Oh nothing to do with REAL babies, which I adore! It's a metaphor.

  2. So sad. Could be a metaphor for so many things, including the actual birthing of babies that some biological carriers (I refuse to call them mothers) could care less about and leave them in dumpsters.

    It's a sad world we live in my friend. So completely devoid of accountability.

  3. Powerful stuff, but I would have liked a bit more context for the metaphor. I loved the line about meconium pooling, great.

    1. HA! You got that! I was hoping someone would mention that, thanks Rebecca!

  4. k ... thats a little darker than your usual ... I'm here if you need some therapy.

    1. Thanks Mark! But I'm absolutely fine. Sometimes poetry IS therapy!

  5. Well, life can be nasty and brutish. And sometimes is. Unless someone cares enough to act.

    Which I think is the point.

  6. Holy shit, Cathy.

    That effect you were going for? You got it.

    Holy shit, Cathy...


  7. Have a nice day.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  8. Not sure what to make of this,sad, stark and yet compelling to read, a nice set of prose. ^_^

  9. Oh - that's a change!
    Called in for my regular dose of 'entertainment' and got stopped in my tracks by this!

    Eloquently written, Cathy, with some great metaphors - but now I have a nasty taste in my mouth :-/

    1. :) Sorry!!!! I know, it's rather nasty.... just what's playing out in my nasty noodle at the moment! Hope everything is well at your house, by the way. Been thinking about you.


How's it going, eh? It's SO good to hear from you. Tell me every darn thing...