The Leaving



Three Strikes

Either I will strike out or this post will be born. This is a third attempt. It is not a matter of writer’s block, which is a trick of the mind. I think the prohibition is one which springs from my soul. What I am going to share was not something which sprang to life in a matter of minutes.

I have not anything poignant or pithy to say first. Perhaps, nothing at all is sufficient.

The Leaving

More than anything I want
to hold you in my arms,
to feel your hand wrapped
around the tip of my finger.

To sniff the top of your head
and feel the silken strands
against my nose. They tickle
and ensure the smell lingers.

How quickly your breaths come.
Even your sigh is small.
A little coo signals a nap
where you will gather your strength.

I touch your back, and you
snuggle into my gentle palm.
Fingers gently rub your leg
running softly down its length.

My thumb in your tiny arch
makes your toes curl, hold tight.
Silently, my hand draws away.
My heart feels the distance grow.

The night turns cold and the stars
hide behind clouds shrouding the moon.
My eyes snap open without focus
as bolt upright I sit in the bed.

The “Go back to sleep” sounds like it
emerges from somewhere underwater.
The words do not register, but instead
they rattle around in my head.

Quietly, I rise in search of the phone.
I stand and look at it. One, two, three,
before it rings beneath my trembling touch.
It isn’t my voice echoing, “Who’s this?”

I can’t see the clothes as I slide them
onto my skin in the closeted darkness,
but I feel the pull as I lean down
with “I’ll be back” and the lightest kiss.

I fumble for keys, stumble into the night.
The drive is so long, I see the faint dawn
crawl in through the window and splash
on your little left cheek, all aglow.

They scurry around you with all their
tools, and I stand shrinking away.
“Get her out of here.” Someone mercifully
complies, taking me out by the hand.

I do not want to see, but my gaze
is transfixed by the lights and the
flash of surgical steel. I feel the pull
though my feet sink in quicksand.

They bring you to me. I know why
you’ve come, to let me hold you one
last time. You must go, but I wish you
could have stayed, for I love you so.



Hold my hand.

© Red Dwyer 2006-2012
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  1. Beautiful, sad, heartfelt. Thanks Red for posting this and sharing a piece of yourself here. xx

  2. Heartbreaking and beautiful. I figured it was personal. So touching.

  3. Wow! It’s funny that I am reading this just after seeing a fb post remembering a baby (my great-nephew) that was taken too soon.


  4. Touching and moving piece. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful moment with us.

  5. Anna Popejoy

     /  March 3, 2012

    Beautiful and heartfelt…still wiping away my tears….for it brings to surface the gut wrenching pain that tears at the very essence of ones being when they lose a child. I share your loss and your pain.

  6. —-They bring you to me. I know why
    you’ve come, to let me hold you one
    last time.—

    Ooo, my sweet Red,
    your words soak into my skin and bones and mind…..
    This moved me so so so much.

    I love you. My heart breaks for you. Always. Xxxxxx
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