Tag Archives: babies


I’m sitting on a single bed

with pounding heart and aching head.

My memory’s stuck – it won’t rewind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The décor’s apple-green and chrome.

Wherever I am, it isn’t home.

They say I’m free but I feel confined.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The pills they make me take are brown.

The nurses have to hold me down,

but first they close the roller blind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The girl next door to me is nuts –

her arms a mess of razor cuts.

I don’t belong here, with her kind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


And all the other women here

are tainted with the smell of fear

and search for things they cannot find.

I haven’t lost my mind.


Respect’s a quality they lack.

They whisper things behind my back.

The words they say are so unkind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The doctor says when he is through

I’ll see the world like others do –

I’m not sure I’m that way inclined.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The things he says are just not right –

that black’s not black and white’s not white,

and every cloud is silver-lined.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The doctor smiles but I do not.

He wants to know what I forgot.

He makes my tangled thoughts unwind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


The doctor says I’m almost there;

I’ll start to heal if I can bear

to drop the mask I hide behind.

I haven’t lost my mind.


Oh God, did I do something wrong?

I can’t forget for nine months long

my blood and hers were intertwined.

I haven’t lost my mind.


For eighteen hours on the trot

she cried and cried and wouldn’t stop.

A swirling redness made me blind.

Perhaps I’ve lost my mind.


For hers was such a little life

it only took a pocket knife

to cut away the ties that bind.

I think I’ve lost my mind.


(c) Helen Lewis 2006


Bad dream baby

It's a Girl - Bad Dream Baby By Edite Haberman

It’s a Girl – Bad Dream Baby
By Edite Haberman

My bad dream baby is a daughter.

My belly waxes like the time-lapse Moon,

The husk of my womb breaks open.

Other times she falls like midnight snow;

I wake to the sound of her breathing.


The stage is always dressed the same.

I’m locked in a seventies motel room

With bricked-up windows.

Above the candlewick bedspread

A bare bulb swings like a noose.


Her crying splits me open.

I look for her in the drawer divan,

Check the bedside table and the mini bar.

In the mock-rococo wardrobe a blue-skinned Kali

Juggles formula and baby wipes.


She came to me again last night,

Brown curls on dimpled cheeks,

Pudgy hands outstretched, calling ‘Mummy’.

I took a pen from the pocket of my white coat

And made a tick on my clipboard.


I am tired of carrying the weight

Of what I have to tell her.


Breaking the news of death is performance art.

Young medics rehearse in front of the mirror.

How do I tell this stranger

As close as a heartbeat

That she will never be born?


© Helen Lewis, 2009

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