Death of a Child Who Never Was by Sarah Mackey Kirby

Death of a Child Who Never Was

I need to bury you, this mind-figment
that can never become.
Into a place where you lose meaning.
Some former dream, diminished.
A white dwarf star succumbed to light pressure,
helium-swallowed core, collapsed but somehow
still shining inside my narrative,
each evening’s reemergence unwelcome.
I want you, who never was,
to stay distant and vague.
Unrecognizable, obscure music.
Disconnected as chartreuse, the color and name.
Some untenable heel-dug position
decomposing at last under the weight of proof.
Leave me. Fall cooling into the wilderness,
canopied under treetops. Capitulate to this gravity,
and descend into the thickened woods at dusk,
where I can no longer author your voice.


Sarah Mackey Kirby grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. She is the author of the poetry collection, The Taste of Your Music (Impspired, 2021). Her poems appear in Muddy River Poetry Review, The New Verse News, ONE ART, Ploughshares, Third Wednesday Magazine, and elsewhere. She taught high school and middle school social studies until a few health surprises changed her path. Sarah is an always-teacher-at-heart and a forever second momma to hundreds of students. She and her husband split their time between Kentucky and Ohio.

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