This Poem was Submitted By: Mandie J Overocker On Date: 2005-06-18 11:27:54 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Memorial of Innocence

It was a dark day In December A holy day for the world But as the world  Rejoiced a holy birth My heart was sad as I mourned My firstborn son Torn from within my womb To be sacrificed on a tree I had no choice  But I wonder still Would he have lived If I'd had a voice? My heart was sad My spirit low Could I've done more I don't know It was a dark day In the springtime A holy day for the world But as the world  Mourned a heavenly king My heart was sad as I mourned Another boy Torn from within my womb Speared in the heart  And burned Upon a cross Inverted there As flames leapt up I watched I had no choice But I wonder still Would he have lived If I had a voice My heart was sad My spirit low Could I've done more? I don't know It was a lonely day A warm day in June A twisted day Once again For on  this day Two newborn twins Would be forced apart at birth I had no choice  But I wonder still Would he have lived If I'd had a voice? My heart was sad My spirit low Could I've done more I don't know And as they cried For each other My spirit died From within Apart from me Apart from him Would she meet  the same fate? That I had lived  Up till that day I wonder still  If she'd choose the same? They were lonely days That I recall They were twisted ways I remember I had no choice  But I wonder still  Would they have lived  If I had used my voice My heart was sad My spirit low Did I do all I could I don't kow Did I do all I could? I don't know

Copyright © June 2005 Mandie J Overocker

Additional Notes:
words to a song I wrote for my lost children.

This Poem was Critiqued By: Elaine Marie Phalen On Date: 2005-07-07 06:50:38
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mandie ... This is absolutely compelling! I'm not sure what has happened in terms of the "real story", but the imagery is horrifying and the mother's anguish screams across the space between poet and reader. How can I truly critique this? I can't -- it stands without any need for detailed commentary, revision or "approval" of form and poetic language. It is written in similar style to a folk ballad, but there's much more here than an imaginary tale. I'm assuming that somehow, this baby - together with his twin - was used in a sacrificial rite of some kind. That boggles my mind, of course. Whether literal or metaphorical, I can't say, but the cruelty is unimaginable. Is this a metaphor for adoption against the mother's will? Or for an actual slaughter of innocents, as the title implies ... a Biblical-sounding destruction of the newborn? Although there is nothing Christian about such a terrible act. OMG, I'm shuddering here. I don't believe this is metaphorical at all. It was a dark day In the springtime A holy day for the world But as the world Mourned a heavenly king My heart was sad as I mourned Another boy Torn from within my womb Speared in the heart And burned Upon a cross Inverted there As flames leapt up I watched The speaker temporarily assumes a persona much like that of Mary, who understood that her child's destiny was fixed and unstoppable. So it is Easter, and the crucifixion is both remembered and replayed. Instead of a holy turning-point, there's a satanic element - a cult-like perversion of the original. Destruction instead of salvation, agony without redemption. Have you written about this in prose form? What a shocking narrative! If it is true, as I suspect, then it's calling out to be told. The anguish could be channeled into an utterly riveting story. Words fail me. Brenda

This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2005-06-20 20:28:16
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mandie: This is so incredibly heart-breaking, I cannot comment here. I will write to you off the link. This poem deserves my most concentrated attention. Your pain is so immense that it runs through each word and wrings me with grief. There may not be as many responses to this and other recent poems of yours, simply because we are overwhelmed with the enormity of your losses. I know that everyone who reads is feeling much, but perhaps a bit paralyzed with the impact. Keep writing for it is a healing art. Writing, reading and responding. There is a connection that runs from one person here to another (although at times we disagree on surface issues) which may make a circuit and elevate all of us to a level of understanding of what you have undergone, and teach us how to offer comfort and our real selves in the process. Learn of human suffering and respond. Offer our own, for release. All my thoughts and prays, and meditations. I will write to you. Best always, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2005-06-20 19:57:32
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.93617
Poet.....have the words to this song been place to music yet? This is so touching, so filled with longing and sadness, so heartbreaking...........good structure, no problem with the flow of words used to create this touching piece, even the repeat of words throughout works well within the not only can see these little souls but feel their pain, their sorrow along with yours, I am sorry that this happened to you, children are a gift from God and only God has the ability to call them home when their journey on earth is completed.........I do not know what you speak out against when you say...... I had no choice But I wonder still Would they have lived If I had used my voice Somehow my own soul tells me that you speak of a young child herself when she gave birth to these little ones, they were conceived perhaps in a way that was not acceptable to society back then but still you were a part of them.....I believe fear kept your mouth closed thus no voice spoke out........perhaps these children were placed in another many roads to travel with the thoughts you placed.......the ones of death, burning, etc., I have placed aside for to me that would be unthinkable.....its bad enough for you to suffer as you have all these years..........I hope you do not still hold this against yourself, you did what you had to at that time of your life, you are a survivor, I feel the act of rape is involved in this somehow so please excuse me if I am so off on my feelings poet........this is what I have felt and you associate more then one holy feast with the pain you too have suffered.......I feel you mention the birth of Christ in the opening stanza, a time for the Catholic church to be rejoicing.....and there you are feeling pain, loss, suffering within......who hurt you so my little one? Thank you again for allowing this to be posted, for sharing these thoughts with us, I hope you are doing well and that you will keep posting here on the link. God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Lora Silvey On Date: 2005-06-20 11:25:58
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.48485
Mandie, Drawn in, looking for conclusions, your piece is compelling. Please know that there many of us who understand and share in your pain, anguish, self doubt and guilt. Also, please believe that somethings are beyond our control, even with different choices things can and often turn out with the same result, things are as they are suppose to be and sometimes that is just flat out lousy. Thank you for sharing this most inner part of your being with us, you have honored us with sharing. Lora
This Poem was Critiqued By: DeniMari Z. On Date: 2005-06-18 14:29:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.63636
Dear Mandie, This is one of the saddest pieces I've ever read. Were these losses due to miscarriages? It is hard to distinguish because that is something you would have no control over. It's unclear to me as a reader, when you say "You had no voice", voice to stop a miscarriage is impossible. I too, lost a child in 1983, I was almost full term, and due to the placenta pulling off the doctors said there was little they could do. It was a heart breaking time in my life, and I was comforted by the fact that I had two healthy children at home to return to. I think of the little girl - who would be almost 22 now, and this poem took me there - to her. I'm very sorry for your losses - sincerely, DeniMari
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