All the living people have their own hearts

All the living people have their own hearts

Functional hearts that beat and slosh their blood through brain and vein

Angry hearts betrayed, broken, wreaking havoc, taking names

Troubled hearts pounding for the pain of strangers

Retentive hearts for memories of rain and safety

Faithful hearts given away with the promise of eternity

Treacherous hearts twisting burning too soon turning

Playful hearts that invert an empty eggshell in its cup and invite their mother to tap it with a spoon

Wistful hearts trembling for midnight and the moon.

My other children grow and speak in different voices

With words I didn’t teach them

And explore their complex hearts


But my daughter’s heart with all its potential for infinite variety

Stilled in my womb and never had expression

And that became my lesson

To live another’s heart and cells and memory

To write her death in all its vile potency

To understand that I’m her only legacy

And there could never be enough

Money to honour her

Voices to speak of her

Or babies to save for her

The world in its entirety could not satisfy her loss

It rests with me to somehow be worthy of her precious heart


And so I end and start


This is my last post for Glow. I often think of my writing as part of Iris' legacy. How do you feel about creating a legacy for your baby or babies? Do you do something "in their name"? What does that mean to you?