Thursday, August 21, 2008

Poems for Jacob Ryan

-Jacob Ryan Murtha, stillborn, Memorial Day weekend, May 26, 1996

Miller's Pond

Jacob avoided everything from the start:

All the easy stuff I could have shawn him
from the saw-tooth edge of an alder leaf casting a lazy fly rod at Miller's.

I never wanted him...perhaps he knew.
Never could see myself as a parent,
.....or felt the need to be a letdown.

While Linda carried him, I was happy for them.
Watching her third finger trace his body
.....squirming in her belly.

After I delivered him, I held him just so
brushing back brown hair from his cold,
limp-still body, and sketched those features
.....that were mine.

When in thought, I find myself on a bank
at Miller's Pond, where mallards dabble,
a hooded merganser dives
.....and not until it surfaces I breath.

Jacob's Song a lullaby

life's full of joy
baby boy it would be
the nursery was made
by my wife and me

the toys and the cloths
tucked away in his room
baby would play
while in his mother's womb

the day would come
he'd play no more
tears showered our eyes
cascading to the floor

an angel emerged
from this tragedy
I'm sure Jacob watches over
my wife and me


caught in a dewdrop—
the empty swing

spring mist—
a mallard paddles
through our stillborn's ashes

Memorial Day—
a layer of dust
cover's the urn

spring rain
a child's ashes
mix with clay

tanka series untitled

his brass urn
I walk to
the bedroom's far wall
and straighten our photo

dreams of
how I never wanted you
your ashes
sift through my fingers
so many tiny bones

I look
to the constellation
count each star
one by one
then, name you

© 1996-2008 Memorial Day, Golden Swamp Warbler Press, The Heron's Nest, The
Valentine Award Issue of THN, Temps Libre, Mad Poet's Review & Hermitage


Bill said...

Deeply moving, Gene. Thanks for sharing.

Gene Murtha said...

Thank you for stopping by Mr. Kenny

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

I love your works. Interesting reading...all of them.

Gene Murtha said...

why thank you Nana, and for stoping