know love, no peace

a child – small and wild –

studies me

from over the crook

of her mother’s arm

in a dingy waiting room –

yellow and stale –

of county hospital,

her nose stuffed with snot;

her mother’s all she’s got


large industrial clocks,

their faces cracked and grimy,

tick the time

from behind their wire cages

to the beat of the cop

whose job is to scrape

the bodies from the tar

and bring them in

from the city outside

to finish dying.


another child –

mine –

you –

kicks in my belly,

dancing the dance

of one desperate to breathe.

i rub his cocoon,

your cocoon,

“soon, baby, soon,”

and strain to hear the nurse call my name.


the child still stares.

the clock still ticks.

the cop brings the bodies

while my baby still kicks

desperate to breathe…

you push

i push

we push.




i swoon

from your cocoon

gush the waters of life,

and, while i know it’s impossible,

i hear my baby scream;

your scream comes from my mouth

and i fall to the floor,

welcoming the cool linoleum

on my hot cheek.


i remember her eyes,

cool and blue,

as she calms me with a hush

and the push of sedative

into the i.v….

i clasp onto a fast-moving train

to sleep,

to birth,

to wake

to you.


you are pink and plump.

you grasp my finger.

i now know love.

you are all I have

i will never know peace again.




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Published by: The Poet Darkling

The Poet Darkling is an award-winning poet, lyricist, author, editor, and freelance writer. She is currently working on her fifth poetry and monologue anthology, as well as her memoirs. In 2013, The Poet Darkling had the distinct honor of writing an introduction and closing poem for the short story anthology, “Broken Spokes along the Way,” by author Vance R. Farrell. She is also an esteemed member of several writer’s groups, including Writers-Network, and All Poetry, and was featured in the All Poetry anthology “Rewrite Sunlight” in 2017. Born in Chicago, Illinois, The Poet Darkling currently resides in Northeast Tennessee with her family, her pet black widow spider (whom she calls “Walter”), her imaginary muse (whom she hasn’t named), and her many diverse personalities. Since her childhood, The Poet Darkling has survived all manner of physical and sexual abuse, as well as mental illness, drug addiction, and long-term homelessness, and her poetry reflects this. With a steady voice, diverse subject matter, and the singular intent of helping others not only survive the darkness, but thrive there. The Poet Darkling appeals to a wide range of readers. She speaks for the traumatized soldier, the weary mother, the confused teen, the abandoned senior, the disenfranchised minority, the serial killer, and anyone who has suffered heartbreak, addiction, abuse, mental illness, and even the sting of death – and all in perfect rhyme and meter…or not. Following her own doctrine of “Live first; learn later,” The Poet Darkling is currently working on her M.A. in Creative Writing/English, with a concentration in Poetry at Southern New Hampshire University, where she also earned her B.A. in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Poetry and a minor in Professional Writing, graduating summa cum laude in 2017. The Poet Darkling is proud to be a member of the Sigma Tau Delta (Alpha Pi Psi) and Alpha Sigma Lambda (Sigma Psi) honor societies. When she is not writing, or plotting her bid for Poet Laureate of the United States, The Poet enjoys talking to herself, wandering around aimlessly and poking dead critters with sticks.

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