Seven nights have passed under the half moon’s glow
Since mother gave you your name,
Christening you with a labored whisper,
Drenched in the sweat of a struggled birth,
With you, sticky with the mucus of her womb.
She cradled you against her breasts
As time seemingly stood still,
Perhaps to marvel for a moment
Before moving on with a heavy heart,
Knowing the tenderness would be short-lived.
Six nights have passed under the half moon’s glow
Since the nurses carried you from her –
A hard-won fight, no doubt, how loved you were –
To a steel cradle by the window sill.
Separated, she would turn her head towards you
And send you kisses from under the sheets
When nobody was around to pry
For in the lonely stillness of the room
Her tired heart was free to dream of you;
That from the cradle, you sent her kisses too.
Four nights have passed under the half moon’s glow
Since we came to visit one afternoon
Mother, for once, slept soundly at the time
So we tiptoed past and contained our giddy
And quietly spoke of the new cradle we bought
As token of grace for a bright, young soul.
There, two doctors stood grimly by the door
They smiled at us softly, and we smiled in reply
Though I did not realize then, distracted as we were
The sadness that had glazed their eyes.
Two nights have passed under the half moon’s glow
Since the phone disturbed the silence of the morning
The sky still unbroken by the light of a sleeping sun
On the other line came the voice of the doctor,
Voice quivering, each word strained in his dire report
At this, around us a dark gloom sprung and choked
And we could no longer return to our beds
Until dawn greeted us, dizzy with grief
The rooster’s crows joined by mad weeping
For the cradle you would never dream in.
Another night passes under the half moon’s glow
As we gather around a small patch of dirt
The evening’s chill heightened by the coldness of sorrow,
Our hushed sobbing accompanied by the rustling of dry leaves.
The stone marker, engraved with your name, offers no comfort
As your mother, veiled in black, lights a small candle
Lips trembling, struggling with an empty prayer
And kneeling, she whispers your name to the soil
Bidding you farewell into the cradle of the earth
Under the light of the half moon’s glow.
© Copyright 2016 Jan Gabriel. All rights reserved.