Editor's Note: We had so many poems offered this month that I'm offering them in this one column. Hope you'll scroll through to catch them all -- heartbreaking honest and insights from Stephanie Marottek, Susan J. Erickson, Carrie Sines, Lanaia Lee, and Melanie.

She Is Gone
by Stephanie Marottek

She left us
in a flurry of rain
we didn't know she was gone
until it was too late.
The gentle memory
fills my heart
of feeling her rolling
under my ribs.
The exquisite agony
of little kicks
and pressure on the bladder
at 2 a.m.
Never again to hold her
for she left us
without a goodbye
without a cry.
Never to teach her how to ride a bike
or take her to swim lessons.
All the things we'll never do
because she is gone.

The Complexity of my Existance
by Stephanie Marottek

"Inspired by another Bereaved Mommy!"

To exist
in a world
that can not understand
that can not see
that does not want to.....
is complex.
On one side,
I am the grieving parent,
mourning the loss of my future
missing the presence
of one who never got to fully be.
On another side,
I am the strong woman,
leading the way
showing others how to make it
and changing laws.
On another side,
I am the working girl,
doing the 9 to 5,
bringing home some money
to help put food on our table,
hiding my face to those who look too close.
And then I am the searcher,
looking for somewhere to put my faith,
someone to renew my spirit
and something to fill this hole
in my heart.
My existance is complex
for I must compartmentalize
different parts of me,
so that I can function
without falling apart.
The complexity of my existance
baffles even me.....

Not Suppose To Be
by Stephanie Marottek

for Angie, Christine and everyone at KotaPress

It is not supposed to be this way.
Why can't I have her?
Why couldn't she stay?
My life wasn't supposed
to turn out this way!
When I was a little girl
I dreamed of all it would be,
and never in my fairy tale dreams
was losing her a part of me!
I dreamed of a big family
with a husband so sweet,
2 boys, 2 girls a dog and a cat,
a hampster and a canary, tweet!
In my dreams we all are healthy
no problems arise
and everyone gets along
and nothing dies.
But my reality is nothing
like my childhood dreams,
for nothing has turned out
the right way it seems.
It was not supposed to be this way,
my baby was supposed to live
and I was supposed to be happy
and fill of love to give.
But it is not how I want
so I must now accept and find a way
to deal with the pain and the heartache
that fills my every waking day.

About the Author
Stephanie is a prolific poet -- as well as poetry pirate and gardening guru!


by Susan J. Erickson

After Ryan Shane lived five hours

None of it. I want none of it. Spring,
giddy with greenness, markets
itself in a blitzkrieg
of ecstasy.

Magnolia, pink-petaled mouths
stretched wide, shout saccharine ballads
to the unscathed

Spring, the amnesiac, forgets the winter
of too much. shrugs plummy
shoulders, oblivious to a refugee
from a devastated country.

I do not, cannot, forget the soft
down of his head. I cover
my eyes against the glare
of green, cover my ears against the din
of spring’s velvet hammer.

At night the killdeer scream
like avenging angels. Only then
can I stomach spring.

About the Author
Susan J. Erickson lives in the City of Subdued Excitement, Bellingham, WA. Her first chapbook The Art of Departure was recently published by Egress Studio Press. She has two living grandsons, including the twin of Ryan Shane born three months premature. Her work has appeared in Clackamas Literary Review, Kota Press, Switched-on Gutenberg, PoetryMagazine.com, Raven Chronicles, The Lyric and various anthologies.


I Have A Wish
by Carrie Sines

I have a wish for you my friend
That you will never know

The pain of losing a beloved child
And your dreams to watch her grow

You cannot imagine what it is like
To carry on after your child dies

To sit and cry for hours on end
Asking, "Why? Oh Lord, oh why?"

I have a wish for you my friend
That you will never know

The sadness that consumes your life
And stays with you until you're old

The daily emptiness of your arms
As you long to hold your child

Thinking back to the day she died
Silently wishing you had more time

I have a wish for you my friend
That you will never know

The fear that she has been forgotten
As if she wasn't so

The strength it take to live each day
To carry on as once before

The sorrow to live your life again
After your child has left this world.

I have a wish for you my friend
That you will never know...

Dedication from the Author
In memory of our first daughter, Ashley Marie Sines 10/29/97


Like you never had a baby at all...
by Melanie

You look so great
Like you never had a baby at all
You're so much fun
Like you never had a baby at all
I haven't talked to you in days.

You're invited to a sprinkle shower --
Like you never had a baby at all
Why are you in bed? Clean your house.
LIke you never had a baby at all.
Will you have more children?

Aren't your boys the cutest?
LIke you never had a baby at all.
It's so good to hear you laugh.
Like you never had a baby at all.
Do you want to go out sometime?

My arms and breasts are empty.
LIke I never had a baby at all.
My thoughts are dark and twisted.
Like I never had a baby at all.
I can't pretend one more minute that I never had a baby at all.

Editor's Note
This poem is published in Lily's memory. Our heart's to you, Melanie!


Visired by death
by Lanaia Lee

How does one explain this pain?
How does one keep from going insane?
How can you keep from playing this awful game?
We all know the cursed name.

Several visits from the grim reaper
Each time he makes my pain grow deeper
But by the goodness of the almighty keeper
I have learned how to handle this awful creeper.

Six children I have lost
And that was such a big cost
With my feelings all jumbled and tossed
I learned to fight through that thick, thick moss.

Today for this I am strong
So maybe their deaths weren't so very wrong
Even though quite often I long
To hear my children's song.

So what can I say?
Except there willcome a joyous day
When my children and I can play
In that field of dreams beyond decay.

Author's Dedication
Dedicated to Derek, Michael, Fallon, Heather, Cindy, David.

Loss  | Vashon | Services | Art | Poetry | Store | Contact

© 1999 KotaPress All rights reserved.  ISSN 1534-1410 www.KotaPress.com
Please direct comments regarding this web site to webmaster@KotaPress.com