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Holy Week

Holy Week

This week there is another,
one more child lost within
the darkness of my womb.
How I have tried to care
for them, and carry them,
my life’s portion, delicate
burdens, slowly forming
crosses to bear–or prove
unable to bear.

As Mary watched
her womb’s fruit, ripe
in its own blood, fall
on the road to Golgotha–
once, twice, a third time, cords
lashing around His
crippled form, until
it was impossible to tell
if He was human;
so I watch the third one
fall, and sound the silent
words, the names I would
have used, the boy names
and the girl names, all
my dreams of them, my dear
unspoken hopes of taking up
their hands when they fall,
of teaching them to run,
to let their burdens go.

Where they have gone
I want to follow,
and I’m swept into the corner
between hope and death.
Like a child, I bury my head
in my hands and lay the stone
across the grief that others
will not share with me or help
me carry, who say
my child will come back
in a new pregnancy–saying
in all they say only that they
can’t see why I would say
the names, the boy names
and the girl names. Unwilling
to give my grief its name, many
refuse to call my child human,
so unripe in its own blood.
But give it time, they say
give it to God, another one
will come along soon enough.

My soul waits for the Lord,
and for my child’s voice–tired
of watching, guarding against
new loss, my soul waits
for the Lord–thirsting
for peace, the first words
of my child, yes, my soul
waits for the Lord.

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Daniel Hyland

Daniel Hyland

Daniel is a Catholic writer and voice artist living in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and daughter. He believes in the power of beauty in life, nature and art as a tool of evangelism, and seeks to follow Christ through study, work and prayer. His favorite book of the Bible is the Song of Songs because of the stunning intimacy it presents both with regard to the sacrament of marriage and the marital union with God to which every soul is called in Christ. He is the proud owner of a small collection of facial hair, charitably termed a mustache.