To the silenced mothers

Bereaved Mother’s Day looks me gently
in the eyes this morning
and holds me in its soft, solemn hands.

It’s a new date on the calendar,
but not a new date in our hearts.

My bones clatter against one another
in anguish
as my thoughts circle around the mothers
before me

who were never heard
who were never seen
who lived in a world
that was deaf to their children’s names,

and I am so sorry.

Ours will never be a welcome voice–
the pain of babies dying
is too much for most to bear witness to.

But today at least we can speak their names–
quietly, loudly, whatever we can muster.

And if your voice is too weak,
too battered from years of being silenced

then you tell me their names
and I will speak them for you

not because I’m so kind or special
but because I am a mother
and by God you are, too.


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