Expectant Hope

Photo by Fiona Murray on Unsplash

She was still swaying as the last honey-laden tunes
Of sweet summer faded away like fragile baby’s breath—
Her eyes were closed, a shawl lightly over shoulders
Under the net of stars that had become a shroud
As one by one they died silent into the pale light
Of a clouded dawn, and all the guests had gone
In a whispered goodbye, like the twinkle in his eye.

But the womb still has its memory as does the heart—
Heart over heart, head over head, eight months bodied
Though autumn breezes steal him away like a changeling,
Like a changeling into winter’s overcoat to fleeting summer’s loss—
I will not speak of spring, she said, breathing gusts of prayer
Aware at last of the chillness in the air, but of tombs, oh LORD, empty
Oh, my God, in that long-expectant day, birthing him to eternity, holy.


1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NIV)
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

Check out these two remarkable writing prompts: Shay's Word Garden Word List, of which three must be used; dVerse's MTB, where a couplet (at the end in mine) or a couple is required. 

19 thoughts on “Expectant Hope

  1. This is intense. This woman has lost a child and the night stars have turned to a shroud. The line about the womb brings it home that she feels she has lost a part of herself, in this child. Someone said that when we have a child it is like having part of your heart walking around in the world outside you. This woman, though, despite her pain, has faith that death is not final (“Death, where is thy sting?”) and that her child continues to live in some other place, perhaps even more vibrantly than in the flesh. Personally, I believe that 100%. Thanks so much for sharing this poignant piece with the Word List, Dora. And thank you for your marvelous comment on my own poem–it meant a lot.

    –Shay

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  2. Your opening stanza brought a tear to my eye, Dora. I love the imagery in: ‘…sweet summer faded away like fragile baby’s breath’ and ‘… the net of stars that had become a shroud / As one by one they died silent into the pale light / Of a clouded dawn’. And then I felt a lurch when I read: ‘But the womb still has its memory as does the heart’. Such a poignant poem, especially for mothers who have lost children.

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  3. Dora: This is such a beautiful heartfelt write but it does lack the couplet requirement. You mention you have a couplet at the end…..perhaps you could simply fix the wording and the spacing so there is obviously a concluding coplet? Because Laura is unable to tend the pub, I’m overseeing it for this prompt….I’ll look back again later today to see if you’ve changed the writing of it here to include a couplet. If not, sadly, I’ll have to delete it from Mr. Linky. And I really don’t want to do that because, as others have said, it is quite beautifully written. I hope you can adjust it to include a couplet at the end.

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      1. I am so sorry, Dora. The prompt is to write in couplets. Everyone else understood this. The couplets could contain rhyme or not. The point was to write in couplets. I hate to be the enforcer but sadly, that’s what I’m to do. I do hope to see you on dVerse many many more times…and again, this is truly a piece of beautiful writing. It just does not fall within the boundaries of the prompt.

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