Dark, Dark

The baby calls to you from his crib.
The room is dark, and I sit with him.
I tell him to keep on calling you,
that somehow you will hear –
I know he doesn’t understand me,
but I believe it anyway.
My soul’s voice calls to you too,
Come back to us. Don’t go.

People rush around buying presents.
Christmas soon, but I don’t care.
The lights and decorations
are only absurd; cards in the mail
talk about joy and other alien emotions.
I throw them in a pile and think
of you in your hospital room.
Something is wrong in your pretty head.

People struggle for words to comfort me,
and I thank them. They mean well.
The only comfort to make this right
is a warm you lying beside me.
The little boy stands in his crib,
points at the window full of night,
and says, “Dark, dark, dark.”
“Yes,” I answer, “it’s dark.”


I wrote this in December of 1986. My young and very pregnant wife had been stricken with a massive brain hemorrhage. I was caring for our 18-month-old son and trying to deal with the awful new reality of my beloved unconscious in neurological ICU. At the time I wrote this, we didn’t know if she and the unborn child would even survive. Everyone did survive and thrive, so this is a story with a happy ending, but it looked grim at the time.

14 comments

  1. I can’t pretend to understand the fear you must have felt but you conveyed it here in a way that gave me anxiety and I feared, too. Glad the story ended on a happy note. Beautiful poetry, Syd

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. That was the worst day of my life. The photo was taken a couple of months after she was released from the hospital. She did recover completely and the baby was born fine and healthy. I feel like I used up a lifetime of luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, this is beautiful and sad and it tugged at my heartstrings!
    So happy it had a happy ending. 🙂
    Your wife is beautiful and that little guy is adorable.
    (Is that the one whose car you had to get out of the impound this week?)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. I was going through some of my really old files and found that poem. It was a bad day.

      The guy in the picture is the oldest son who is now 33 and has a daughter of his own. The car impound was on the younger son, 31.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, she survived and came back better than even the doctors thought she would. The baby she was carrying is now a 31-year-old who is brilliant and one of my best friends. That poem was written at the time — wrote itself. All of that happened just that way. Maybe the most heartbreaking moment of my life.

      Like

      • I can’t hardly comprehend what it would be like..unspeakably painful.So 31 years have gone by.. you would never be the same person though.I am so glad the baby lived and is now an adult.. it makes me happy to know that

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well,your world was almost gone… and you saw what many of us don’t… how fragile life is.It is making tears come in my eyes just thinking of it…why would it happen…..Thank God she got better.Katherine

        Liked by 1 person

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