You were my quarantine baby.

You grew in my belly while the world was on lockdown,
conceived one night after sundown
before I left him.

You pushed outward while the world pushed inward,
bringing hope of new life where there had been
only death and dying.

You made me smile through my tears. You
made me need you
and for that I hate you.

You were like a flame
that flickered to life before my eyes
only to gutter, before my eyes,
and die,
like a fire that had raged
within me
and consuming a part of me
vanished
as quickly as it came.

You broke
my feeble heart. You, you, you
insignificant thing that I hated and then loved,
I never even gave you a name — you,
you made me fight to save your life,
you made me fight to hide my shame, you,
I blame you.

I hate you.
I loved you.

The night after I lost you,
when he visited me in the hospital,
he told me, “For everything
there is a season.”

I hadn’t expected him
to understand. And he didn’t understand. How could he?
He hadn’t borne you. Hadn’t held your life inside his hands.
Hardly even mourned you. 

When they discharged me (too quickly, to make room for
virus patients), we walked to the church hand in hand. He
lit a candle for you, a rising flame, while I cried.

a flame in the darkness
smoke in the dark
a flame in the darkness

Poet’s Notes

This is my third poem for the Voyage of the Mind Poetry Day — check out all the entries from poets all over the web here. When I initially began writing it, I thought it would be a happy, uplifting poem about new life in the midst of all this trouble. It took a turn for the worse, though.

Tell me in the comments what you thought about “Like a Flame.” And thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this poem, I’d really appreciate if you left me a tip on Ko-fi so I can keep creating as much as possible for you.

smoke in the darkness

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