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Forty-three grams

Too early to name you were too unfinished

in the womb for anyone to love but me.

At fourteen weeks your stubbed appendages

denied you somehow proper meaning to the world,

yet I imagined then the promise of your touch

and flying fingers someday glancing on piano keys

or toes that curled like leaves in winter after frost.


Behind those swollen sockets

I would never know the colour of your eyes –

if they were brown or blue or hazel like my own.

But somewhere past a sea of years

I watch you dance beneath a saffron sky

on meadows crusted yellow in a summer sun

or hear your footfall whisper soft on winter snow.


Yet now your nearly heartbeat grieves in me,

its pulse the baby miracle I never knew.

Just three and forty grams –

a single letter’s weight of life unfinished

in the womb. Too early then to name

so I completed you inside my head

and loved you just the same.



Lynda Tavakoli


‘Forty-three grams’ won an Irish Literary Award

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