Dead babies from the time before


Baby Cosmo


When I was


They made

A documentary

About him

We saw his image

On the screen

Of a 30 pound TV

But of course

He never breathed

And we just saw

His ghost on our



He wasn’t the

First dead baby

I had been

Aware of, grieved

My cousin William



The womb of my

Uncle’s wife

While they were

Far away

Unseen by me

But missed

And wondered over.

I imagined

Her hurt

Felt something

Approaching empathy

Although I was

Still young enough

To find the whole

Birth thing

Faintly obscene


And then another loss

Not mentioned

To me personally

And so I will not speak it here

It is not mine

To share

But I was aware

And felt keenly

The broken dream

Of another family


And then some weeks before

My baby died

I spoke to my friend

About her infant brother

Lost just days after

He was born

And we mourned

For him a little

In the car

On the way to work

I remember as we turned

Onto the road

With the lovely violin shop

On the corner

That I felt a sudden


I just knew

That one day I would know

That feeling too

I didn’t realise it would be

So soon,

That I would come to

Speak with such


About small corpses

And their consequences


But those four came before

When dead babies were a rarity


What was your experience of babyloss before your baby or babies died? When you heard their stories did you ever imagine that it might happen to you?