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How the end began, TFMR, termination for Medical Reasons

A collection of poems born of the death of a baby


by Elizabeth Monaghan @buffence TFMR mama to forest



How the end began


Beneath the aluminium concertina

A corridor contains a window

Looking over a hollow of the hospital and

The occasional seagull.


Here inside

Pregnant people fidget and hide

In alternate plastic chairs

You kill time deciphering

Portuguese posters

Autism, domestic abuse and

Lest we forget

Covid.


Eyes flicker behind masks

Occasionally making split second contact

You smile any chance you get

Glad, so glad to be there

Carefree and curious

You feel utterly impervious.


Weird whistling fanfare

Precedes your name call

You skip down the hall

Smiling nurses, open doors.


To the room at the end on the left

Where you swing onto the bed

As you roll down your trousers

And lay back your head

Predictable mural is ready

To capitalise your eyes

By the power of six balloons

Tigger flies!

With dancing butterflies

Through sun dappled trees

People are passing in the corridor

Busy little bees.


The doctor begins her work

She seems at ease

Your hair whispers

To the paper on the table

As cool, sweet smelling gel

Gets spread around your navel

You stroke your sides

Cold in the middle

You look up

And almost giggle

Abseiling speckled grey ceiling tiles

A cut out Winnie the Pooh

Dangles from a thread.


“It’s a boy.”


Reality shifts slightly

Images and visions dance

Through your head

Memories yet to be made

Unraveling knotted thread

Unfolding like a map

Playing on beaches

Sitting on laps

A boy!


Eeyore is suspended close by

Missing his tail.


“Something’s wrong...”


Piglet lets go and

Falls to the floor

Leaving the drawing pin

That held him before

The doctor never shut the door

And people are passing in the corridor

Unaware of their presence in this —


Is it a hallucination?

She’s kidding right?

Seems very cruel to give you such a fright.


Everything’s fine.


We were fine.


A collection of poems born of the death of a baby


by Elizabeth Monaghan @buffence