Partly it’s a linguistic problem.

I don’t like the nominalization, the noun made of a verb.

Even the word itself holds within it another noun, the way I did.

And then there’s the carriage.

A reminder of an empty one.

So let’s try an active approach.

The verb miscarry. I carried

incorrectly like a child bearing a watermelon to a picnic,

unsteadily and any second likely to


But then I’m seeing small hands

round bellies red pulp

So I “lost the baby”?

I wouldn’t do that.

It’s not a phone or a wallet or car keys.

It’s a future person, a son I was already picturing.


That’s when more than words fail.
Christine Himmelfarb
Christine Himmelfarb’s passion for narrative carried her from journalism to graduate school to teaching. Her story started in Texas, featured stopovers in London and San Francisco, and landed in Chicago, where as a mother of two toddlers, she reads stacks of books and manages small dramatic productions at playgrounds. She holds an M.A. in literature from the University of Chicago.


  1. This is such a powerful poem. The pain of loss is embedded in the imagery and the smart turns of phrasing that also show the speaker coping with her grief, and perhaps self-recrimination, with courage and strength. Beautiful.

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