Poem: Hope and Sorrow – A Family Tragedy


After the miscarriage, will you

Forgive me? I am not to blame for

Our baby’s death. You know how much

I love you, my dear; how much I wanted

To be the vessel through which your dreams

Unobstructed could flow. Children will come –

This was but a false beginning – and we will

Keep on trying, until I’ve furnished your life

With all the miracles I’ve long promised, but

Ne’er been able to give

I have always entrusted everything to you –

But would you forgive me for having foreknowledge

Of a tragedy I had not the power to prevent? I never

Wanted to be an instrument in your misery.

For years, I waited, tearing whatever happiness I

Could find within myself, and thrusting it into you.


While you remain within your Circle of Sorrow,

At least grant me admittance?

Let me take your place. May all your grief, your

Pain be mine – let me carry the burdensome stone

In your womb that makes you sink so immedicably


Let me be your death, darling, so

That you do not have to die. Let me

Drown for you – starve for you – suffocate

For you – I will die for you, for as many

Lifetimes as it takes, until the fates take

Your sadness away

And have I not already died more times

Than we have kissed?

A whole cemetery of buried promises,

That prophesied you a future happiness

You will have it all, my dear; all the children

You wish for. I will go to hell so that you

May go to heaven – I will be a homeless

Waif so that you can live in the palace

Built from my suffering


Is this why I remember shedding tears

On those palatial steps – could I

Feel how many lifetimes I would have to

Wait before you became my bride?


But, you are my bride, now, my dearest.

I walked you down that aisle – a bridge

Of light arching over a pool of stars.

And, in that moment, I did not know if

I was a father losing a daughter, or a husband

Gaining a wife.


I remember when you first called

Me ‘husband,’ – a thrill went through

My nervous system. It was only a jest –

But my heart latched onto that word

As the pinnacle of my ambition

Everyone told me to scheme –

Battle plans were laid at my door

Daily. But I did not want to scheme.

I wanted us to gravitate together as

Naturally as two colliding planets in an

Apocalypse’s arms


I wanted you to come under my spell.

But your magic was far superior to

My own. I was swiftly a sorcerer slain –

A murdered Merlin in the arms of his



But you took pity on this drowning

Alchemist, entangled in scurrilous reeds –

“I did not love you at first,” you said,

“But I have learned to love you now;

And a love that has taken time to brew

Is often stronger than that which

Comes unbidden.”

And it was true, my dear. You were

Tentativity and precaution itself, at first –

But once your love had properly fermented,

And your heart ripened to the fullest majesty

Of fructification, it assaulted me with a ferocity

That singed and scarred me through –

An overdose on an elixir fatal even

To the immortals who made it

I wanted to love everything you loved –

To relive your every experience – to see the

World through your eyes, so I might love and

Understand you better


I wanted to be everything you loved:

If you wanted a tree, I would be the

Soil for your seed – if you wanted a

Bird, I would be its song – if you wanted

To create, I would be your canvas –

If you wanted a new world, I would

Build one for you

Thus, in my ambition to satisfy your

Every desire, I progressed from man to

God, and back again to humble man.

I lost and found you more times

Than I can count – like a planet in an

Unfaltering orbit, I could see just how

Long I would have to wait until our

Interstellar fires would cross paths



So, please do not give up, my darling;

Before you know it, your nights will

Be lost in the cries of screaming children;

Family albums will thicken and build like

Barnacles on the chest of a humpbacked

Whale. There will be rows and car journeys;

First loves, joys, and sorrows, witnessed, cuddled

And reproved – and the soul we thought we lost

Will take root in a happier time

So, do not give up, darling – we

Will keep on trying as bravely and

As stoically as the sun never

Fails to rise.

And in that time I will build an

Unbreakable net that is sure to

Capture all of your dreams





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