Joshua Sutherland Allen

Joshua Sutherland Allen

Sunday, August 31, 2014


A poem to my stillborn daughter:

My Child, my Love, My Little Girl:
No one was ever wanted more than You.
You were our Joy, our Long-Expected One. 
We saw your Hand, tiny, sweet, good, waving
To your anxious, cautious, loving parents,
From the screen of an ultrasound machine:
The closest view we had of You until
The bitter, blizzard day when we held You
In arms shaking with weariness, with joy,
With grief.  Your mother and father loved you.
We watched your Heart beating through sonograms,
Listened with at-home monitors, until
The snowy afternoon, when they told us
That it had stopped – that your life was over,
Before it had begun.

You were at once the sweetest and saddest
Thing I have ever seen.  Your gentle, dark,
Beautiful Face infects my mind and heart
In sleep, in waking, at work, at moments
Of happiness, playfulness, weariness,
Depression, melancholy, boredom.
Your tiny Hands imprint my man’s large hands,
And I recall closing my long fingers
Around your Fingers: slight, still, ashen, cold.

Cradles, bedding, clothing, and toys littered
Our home from early fall until the day
We lost You. Our friends swept and scoured the house,
Quickly moving baby things out of sight,
To the upstairs bedroom we had prepared
For You.  Our home would never be your home.
Your Home is in a green field, forever
Cradled on the lap of my grandfather.
Each week your mother and I visit You,
Embrace, weep, wish, and want, dreaming that You 
Are with us.  You are our Family, our Home.

Where You are, there are We complete. 



  1. such a nice dedication, kids are always a source of happiness

  2. O, how i feel this entire journey from joyful anticipation and love to meeting ehr and saying goodbye. Bravely wrought, Thank you. My favorite lines:

    "Your Home is in a green field, forever
    Cradled on the lap of my grandfather."

  3. such loss so hard to bear..."Your Home is in a green field, forever / Cradled on the lap of my grandfather."...hope and peace woven together...

  4. nice dedication, it's good to put it out there.. what happened was real and was a part of your life, which you will carry.

  5. What expectation and what sadness you have written in this poem. I feel for you and your wife in this experience. How difficult to plan for a child and then have the child pass from your life before you had a chance to know her. Your words are beautiful, honest, from the heart. You have shared your difficult journey with us, and this was a courageous act. Thank you!

  6. This is a very poignant poem. You have expressed your pain with a lot of honesty and bravery. I too find the lines about your baby's home the most touching.

  7. Your beautiful poem has made me cry and grieve with you. I hope the poem brings you some comfort.

  8. This is heartbreakingly beautiful, so full of love.....thank you so much for sharing your profound grief. My heart goes out to you and your wife and that beautiful little girl. There is nothing harder in the world than to lose a child. She was, and is, so loved.

  9. Hi -- say, do you think that you could visit the poems of those who visited you? In fact, I mentioned your poem as being a powerful one to a person or two......thus you received a few more visits. We all like visits, and as far as I can see I was the only one you responded too. Reciprocity works well -- and it takes time for everyone. So hope you will make the rounds of at least the above people in the spirit of community. Thank you.

    1. I enjoy visiting and reading through all the poems in the weekly Poetry Pantry. I'm just not very good at remembering to comment. I am working on that this week!

  10. I'm sorry that this happened. I can't imagine the grief.

  11. Such a heartbreaking loss--I hope you have found comfort!

  12. I can imagine such pain and hope I never have to experience it.

  13. Oh Joshua, how moving and how terribly sad.