When a Child Dies

Gustave Miller - Grief
Gustave Miller - Grief

When a Child Dies

by Laura Summerville Reed


There can be no more summer days

When a child dies

The sun hangs in the sky

Only to blister our skin and

Remind us of the blinding pain


When a child dies

Trees are only dull wood

Or sharp twigs

But

Will

Bear

No

Fruit


The pregnant clouds are ripe with mocking thunder

But quench no thirst for the wilted stem

When a child dies


There is no summer grain to be harvested

When a child dies

All falls fallow in the field


The mockingbirds forget each song

And silence chokes in their throats

When a child dies


And we will wake in the morning

To the blinding sun

Or the thundering clap of the gathering storm

As each drops rays or rain on

Green leaves and petal’d blooms

We will eat our daily bread and

Drink this bitter cup

As the birds chime their trill songs

In the still air surrounding

The great gaping wound

That is a thousand

Newly pulled teeth from our hearts

Because a child died




LSR 2010©

Comments 34 comments

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

Another beautiful soliloquy...


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Thank you so very much, Augustine.


jenp123 6 years ago

Beautiful. Thank you. I have friends whose child recently passed away and this is a great poem to read after that sad day.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Hello Jen, you're welcome and let me thank you for saying it's beautiful. I so appreciate you stopping by and sharing about your friends. ~ Laura


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

"The pregnant clouds are ripe with mocking thunder...

when a child dies"

How terribly poignant. And lovely.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Laurel, I'm always interested to know if a word or line stands out to someone, thank you for saying it's lovely.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

This is good:

" . . .the blinding sun

Or the thundering clap of the gathering storm

As each drops rays or rain . . ."

I like the obviously great contrast between sun and storm, though to the grieving parent each drops its load of rays or rain in such a similar way at such a time.


SilverGenes 6 years ago

I found this very difficult to read simply because it was so powerful and dealt with a subject that for me is beyond comprehension. Death of a loved one at any age is difficult but the death of a child would always be "a great gaping wound'. Your talent for moving the soul with your words is immense.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Laura all your words are so real and like others have described the loss of a child goes without saying is one of if not the greatest loss of all and a blow to a parent and their families.

I couldn't comprehend or fathom the hurt and pain that follows after the loss of a child. Your words written here will no doubt bring deep sorrow and sense of loss to many who caress this hub as a tear falls.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Nelieanna, thank you so much, your thoughts on my writing are always dear to me.

SilverGenes, your comments and compliments on this poem move me...deeply...thank you.

Ken, I so appreciate your kind words, thank you for the compliments and comments.


munirahmadmughal profile image

munirahmadmughal 6 years ago from Lahore, Pakistan.

"When a Child Dies"

The moment of departing soul has been expressed in words most suitable to express. A gift, a favour, an endowment made and taken back to bear the loss irreparable and life long. WE all have come from Him, belong to Him and we all shall return unto him. Each soul is to taste the death. Those who forbear with patience, He loves them. Both death and life are creations and full of meaning and purpose. To lose is one thing to bear it is another and more difficult.

May God bless all and be merciful to all.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Munirahmadmughal, thank you for reading and sharing your beautiful thoughts with me.


MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

You have caused me to ponder all the miscarriages that will never hold a baby on a woman's daily stroll, The tots that are taught the price of life, which is death far too young, The teens who are crushed between bent metal and glass, and the end of their passage to adulthood. All the abused and confused who are fused to the pain of being just another victim until their frail souls give out. The starving third world waifs, with bloated bellies and saucer sized eyes who waste away without hope. great write.~~~MFB III


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

MFB, as always, your comments are lovely, insightful works all to themselves, thank you. ~ Laura


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

This is a very touching piece of work, Laura. It would seem the world stands still when a child dies if only for a moment to mourn the loss of a life unlived. In that moment we also mourn for ourselves and the guilt we feel in being spared such an untimely death. The innocence of the child clasped in the grip of death's large hands...such a painful, painful loss. I notice at the end, the poem picks up in its stride as life once again tries to return to normalcy but not quite like it was. I get that sense in the way you changed pace. WB


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Yes, Wayne Brown, you once again have a keen insight into the soul of my writing. Even in death life plods on, and things will eventually return to normal, but 'normal' will never return to the same spot ever again for those who bear the loss of a child.


Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa

I,too, am touched by your poem and found it so sad that it was almost too difficult to read. But isn't that what poetry is all about? Bringing one to tears is the mark of a true poet. It's the reason we write-- to create an emotional connection with a reader. You have done that admirably.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Steele Fields, thank so very much for stopping by to read this, what a truly lovely thing to say. Your beautiful comment and compliment are so appreciated. ~ Laura


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

..yes our hearts and minds always receive this cathartic rush of excitement when we are graced by your words of pure poetry ...


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Dearest Epigramman, you are so very kind and generous in you compliments, as always, thank you.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines

Pain and suffering so poignantly express even the gods could not endure but be touch by your poem.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

SilentReed, thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. ~ Laura


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago

Almost in tears reading this. Even after many years, the loss of my nephew feels unbearable at times. Time stopped for our family and your poem, so mournful, is touchingly full of life. Excellent! Thank you.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Dear Joni, most grieving does soften with time but it still flairs up at the most unexpected moments, doesn't it? and the loss of a child is especially bittersweet in the remembering. Thank you for stopping by to share about your nephew. ~ Laura


you suggest one profile image

you suggest one 6 years ago from NOTTINGHAM ENGLAND

lovely poem,the only thing worse than a child dying,is a living child that you are not allowed to see,or be near.To be prevented from seeing ones grandchildren due to stupid female jealousy and greed is the worst torture of all.keep up the good work.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

YSO, thank you for stopping by to read and share your thoughts. I'm so sorry to hear that you're unable to be with your grandchildren. I hope there will be a happy resolution and reunion for you very soon. ~ Laura


Awful Poet profile image

Awful Poet 6 years ago from The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) (m-M)_0 = 18.41, or 48 kpc (~157,000

Very bold.. Fine Piece


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Thank you, AP...as always, I value your opinion greatly. ~ Laura


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 6 years ago

lalesu , I'm so glad now in later life that not everyone loses a child of course , what a horrible world it can turn lifes days into. Nice , I vote it up.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Thank you, Ahorseback, any tragedy involving our children can rip our hearts apart but losing them is simply unimaginable. ~ Laura


Awful Poet profile image

Awful Poet 6 years ago from The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) (m-M)_0 = 18.41, or 48 kpc (~157,000

I just can not get enough of this piece.

Thought you should know~


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

AP, thank you, I'm glad you let me know ~ L


C.J. Dufty profile image

C.J. Dufty 5 years ago from united states

"And silence chokes in their throats"...my favorite line. Awesome.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 5 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Thank you, C.J. and for letting me know which line most stood out to you. I always enjoying hearing if there's a word or phrase that makes a bit more impact. ~ Laura

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