This Poem was Submitted By: Patricia Gibson-Williams On Date: 2004-11-13 18:35:52 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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The Clock

                          She wonders thru barren,                                                           silent rooms                                     that echo with could have beens.                                      Womb weeping tears for dreams lost                                                                  scarlet                                                                     sorrows                                            And the clock -                                                              ticks and tocks                                     There should be laughter here                                                       and hope                                  filling a pelvic paradise with promise                                                                               But the eggs are too old                                                                          the milk is sterile                                           Or one of a thousand other                                                                   obscure obstacles                                                         obstructs the desired path                                      Doctors;                                                 tests;                                                           drugs and bills                                                                         but still the fields lay fallow                                         and all the while                                                                     the clock                                                                                  tick-tocks                                        The calendar mocks the passing years                                                                   dreams sag and wither                                                Another crushing negative       (as if she didn’t know)                                            Soundless screams resonate                                                                 as she curls closed                                              Seeking to protect fantasies                                                                        nurturing                                                                              un-conceived need                                                                                                          and the clock                                                                               tick                                                                                       tocks.                                                                      Patricia Gibson-Williams

Copyright © November 2004 Patricia Gibson-Williams

This Poem was Critiqued By: Jennifer j Hill On Date: 2004-12-05 21:08:24
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Patti, This biological "Clock" is chock full of alliteration and assonance. I especially love "Pelvic paradise with promise". That's quite a phase you coined there. And there are others like "other obscure obstacles obstruct"--Amazing! This is a heartbreaking subject, but you appoach it in such a way that it pulls the reader in and holds my attention through out. I understand it is extemely hard to live life day in day out with your dreams of being a mother aways out of reach. Thanks for sharing this very well done poem to enlighten many who do not realize that they take for granted having children when there are others who can not. Keep writing and I'll keep reading! Blessings, Jennifer

This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2004-12-02 17:00:36
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Dear Patricia: This poem is searing with the anguish of infertility. It is beautifully and artfully formatted, which intensifies the restrained expression of sorrow. You give me as a reader the sense of time slowing in an almost mocking way, with the "tick tocks" in immutable passing. It seems so unfair that the mechanisms of biology determine who and who does not become impregnated. She wonders thru barren, silent rooms that echo with could have beens. Patricia, I can identify with your poem in so many ways, though I have given birth. I've lived as you've described above, wandering through silent rooms, echoing with "could have beens" -even now, at times. For the son of twenty-one years who died. I am so very sorry that you have not been blessed as yet with a child. Womb weeping tears for dreams lost scarlet sorrows The monthly bleeding comes as evidence that the womb is, once more, empty. I have never seen this expressed more poignantly than your sibilant "scarlet sorrows." And the clock - ticks and tocks There should be laughter here and hope filling a pelvic paradise with promise But the eggs are too old the milk is sterile Or one of a thousand other obscure obstacles obstructs the desired path I cannot help but sense self-blame here. Perhaps it is my own projection, for my own perceived failures. I think the triple repetition of "obscure/obstacles/obstructs" might tend to halt the reader -- and perhaps this is your intention. The word "blocks" comes to mind -- as a synonym for "obstructs" if you ever decide to revise. It feels like being cornered -- this road without an open path. How effectively you have shown us the lingering doubts and uncertainties, the grief for the as-yet unconceived. It is as real a grief as for an infant - but harder to address as there is no specific child with features and personality to mourn. This is a heart-rending poem. It's difficult to comment and not be able to offer more comfort than this -- a few words in acknowledgment. Doctors; tests; drugs and bills but still the fields lay fallow and all the while the clock tick-tocks The calendar mocks the passing years dreams sag and wither--as the body of a woman who has borne children and aged -- breasts sag, ovaries wither Another crushing negative (as if she didn’t know) Soundless screams resonate as she curls closed Seeking to protect fantasies nurturing un-conceived need and the clock tick tocks. "And onward thrusts the calendar, uncaring if I stumble on the weeks." So very movingly written! I think that this should be an addition to the literature of support for women faced with infertility. Brava! All my best, always Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: James Edward Schanne On Date: 2004-11-29 11:43:08
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.50000
My wife and I have been trying for a second child for the last couple of years, but now that she's just turned 45 she feels like it just isn't going to happen for us, and she can hear the tick tock of your poem very clearly. Thanks for letting me read a poem that hits so close to home.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2004-11-15 20:04:31
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.90909
Patricia, I thought long about whether to critique this verse, or let it go. It was heartwrenching to me. Being a man I feel quite, "cheated" that I cannot know the wonder of raising a child within me. So in a sense I identify with this verse, however, I do not know what it is like when raising a child is considered an integral part of my sexuality, my gender, my heritage, and this piece brings me to know, that need. It is obvious the "tick tock" is the biological time left for which a child can be born. However I also feel throughout, it is a running indictment against the woman who cannot. It is true we are each, who we are and maintain value in that guise, but it is also true, there are somethings which draw at us moment to moment and point a finger stating "your value is less" when things are not as they should be. Your reptitive clock, brings that home with a punch to the solar plexis. You have so many great lines in this verse, but what speaks them all is "filling a pelvic paradise with promise" it speaks not only of the conception of new life, but that the "paradise", that is the consumation of person and woman depends greatly on this conception. It is a fallacy of course, but feelings remain that hope may permit, this conception. Therein lies the redemption. Another crushing negative (as if she didn’t know) Soundless screams resonate as she curls closed Seeking to protect fantasies nurturing un-conceived need I have nothing left to say after these lines. I have loved a woman who did concieve and a doctors mistake cost us a five month old in gestation, I know the heartache a woman has. This is such a powerful verse that I cannot speak beyond your final words. I am not a praying man, but I will pray for this conception. tick tocks
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2004-11-14 17:32:05
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Pat, Believe it or not, people with children grown and gone feel the same way! Once you have children, the few years you have them with you, and then always will come the time you'll be alone...The aloneness......missingness happens to everyone. It's paralyzing. With or without children. I knoew thats no comfort. I think your poem captured well your anguish. I'm so sorry you suffer. Maybe you could help out working with children. Thanks for sharing. Dellena
This Poem was Critiqued By: DeniMari Z. On Date: 2004-11-13 20:01:42
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Dear Patricia, I like the structure on this piece, it helps to enhance the mood in this piece. The regrets in life are pointed out - things that should have/could have been done but weren't. It's the main message and there's an undertone of sadness along with the regrets. This is a fresh line - filling a pelvic paradise with promise - I also liked how you reference the clock through the poem - pointing a finger at time - how it passes without realizing some of the dreams we dare to dream. The only thing I would change is in your first verse - changing wonders - wanders - would sound better to me. I enjoyed your poem. Best of luck, Sincerely, DeniMari
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