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.
‘Forty-three grams’ won an Irish Literary Award