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Five Inestimable Pounds

A canvas
Of delicately oiled
Skin, stretched taut
Over five pounds of desperate
Longing that recalled hopeful
Conversations, until the
Blades of splintered sun
The lonely ebony night,
And guttural sobs, when
her trickle of crimson had
Found them wanting,


Five inestimable pounds, that was
A fragrant sunflower
From the blooming fields of Tuscany,
Whose wilting heralded
A day when somersaults, hiccups
And carefree gambol


An armada of unknowing acquaintances
Who shot congratulatory darts
At a mother whose belly was
Large with the grief her
Heart could not hold,

And whose bound breasts
For a silent mouth;
A mouth gone cold.

A mahogany crib that sat
Like the dreams they left
With a dusty car seat
In the corner of a room.

Elizabeth Shay Elizabeth Shay (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

Elizabeth is a third-year medical student at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. She graduated from Columbia University in 2014, after which she spent a gap year in her native Jamaica, prior to beginning medical school.