Wednesday 19th November

And today's prompt is:


When the baby dies, even the house seems to grieve. The front-door gasps as if light and air are too bright and sharp to meet. In one room, such silence.


  1. The only silence in my house is that of the peeling paint, the straining pipes and the glowing rafters as the fires lick into the corners of my tiled life.

  2. She never thought death was so very, very final. She'll never see her love, her tiny baby again. Never. And then she falls on her knees and she cries. Forever.

  3. I do not believe in God but I believe in baby heaven where wounded babies are loved, their short lives of pain rubbed out from the map of the world.

  4. Damn Right I Love Guinea Pigs has 3,259 members. Squeaking or muttering lightly is good, purring means unhappy. I lost my piggie Snickers in February I miss her very much.

  5. That day nowhere was safe. Open the fridge and the anguish sat, toad like, in the ice compartment. Even the regulation eight inches of fibreglass loft insulation ululated with lamentation.

  6. They say the sea is empty.
    Sun still shining.
    Past midnight.
    Houses without curtains.
    Front-doors locked.
    Need more than one
    Layer of paint.
    Narrow roads. Almost
    A one-way street.

  7. In a bed, nothing compares to the touch of a warm body. Reaching for flesh, you hear the silent unmasking of the dead patient next to you. And you watch.

  8. There’s a sudden eruption in your stomach. A cold sweat breaks out on your forehead as your heart flutters. Was the bath really empty before you threw out the water?

  9. No pink
    or blue
    only grey
    tiny perfect
    no longer reach
    for teddy bears
    and blankets
    summer turned
    to winter
    one room is locked
    preserving scents
    and every dream.

  10. Sun beams glow on the
    baby, in perambulator
    but the baby no longer
    breathes, yesterday,the house
    reverberated with the babble, coos
    and caws of lip rounding,
    now eerie silence.

  11. In house of no children
    You hear a cry, but
    However hard you listen,
    You cannot pinpoint its source.

    You walk from room to room:
    All empty,
    All crying.

  12. In a glass fronted wooden cabinet on the wall, a pair of pink ballet slippers, five inches long. Nobody mentions them, ever. On the top of the polished mahogany, dust.

  13. Clearing Ma's cupboards for her move to the retirement home, she found a pair of tiny slippers. Ma’s face confirmed what she had long suspected. Time heals nothing at all.

  14. Losing a child marked us forever. Dirty great scars on the inside; secrets too terrible to share. I wonder about the man who killed our sister. He changed us irrevocably.

  15. I picture you sleeping and tiptoe into your room, to steal mince-pies left for Santa.
    But you’re not on his list anymore, and all I see is your empty bed.

  16. Houses are alive. They breathe and live, feeding off of us. A good house is full of light but a bad house…a bad house helps us realize our worst fears.

    Jamieson Wolf

  17. But when there's no baby, no matter how hard they've tried, the world carries on regardless. Only the couple grieve. The empty room a symbol of their failure, accuses forever.

  18. From the doorway, we stare at all the things we can’t touch. The cot. The mat. The mobile. Everything is so clean . . . Beneath the still, even the dust won’t settle.

  19. Occasionally our choreographed dance brings us close - but never touching, afraid the slightest graze of warmth will melt the house of ice we have built and allow memories back inside.

    Jacqueline Smith

  20. Just whispers, my love.

    Aching beams. Floorboards a-jitter.
    Hinges whinge. Window sills whitter.

    It’s no use. Charm has fled.
    This sorrow descends in a blanket of lead.

    Just whispers, love.

  21. Her eyes fill with tears, her breath catches in her throat, and her disbelief finally melts, for the child she'd never thought she'd have now sleeps soundly in his cot.

  22. Houses absorb atmosphere. Stonework sucks in sorrow like damp. But that Wimpey starter where they brought their fledgling family exuded happiness. Brickwork flushing, picture-windows twinkling. Abandoned now. A gutted shell.

  23. Some things
    are beyond literature.

    In the Great War
    only those who’d not experienced

    the gas, the shells, the hush
    would talk about it.

    Ten years we have remained


  24. The house is heavy with silence.
    Grief’s not measured by age.
    You learn slowly to live with it.
    Blessed laughter returns,
    footsteps remain clear,
    love shines brightly through darkness
    Mary Rose
    Mary Rose.

  25. Images,
    such small hands, perfect.
    There will always be silence now,
    inside it is an empty house.
    Outside, the wind changes;
    the trees, the grass, clouds,
    all move together.


  26. In a boat, rowing towards the river, my grandma and I sat, looking out across to the beautiful city beyond, with a food mall by the banks.

    I wept silently.

    coll @

  27. The theatre is cool and they are taking her baby.The nurse asks about her children at home,she does not want to talk ,just her lost soul to cry.

  28. She could not remember why it had sounded so appealing, why it had been so important. She knew now when the life within her burst forth, her life was over.

  29. The radiators have got temperatures, the sink’s blocked up, the washing machine’s shaky, the doors feel stiff and the bed’s flat out. I think my house needs the flu jab.

  30. No one sees the dead babies. They are so much easier to cover up. Small. So harrowing is the sight of them that we see right through them to the ground beneath; the hospital floor, the bushes, the road.

    Travelling along the motorway, we see traffic cones, blue lights projected at confusing angles, blankets, torn rubber and plastic, jagged remains strewn across the carriageway. A teddy bear. A tiny shoe. A policemen waves you on. You concentrate on the road.

    Out walking the dog, the hedgerows stand motionless with the cold. Only those creatures preserved by centrally heated houses can overcome the sharpness of the frost in their lungs. Losing your footing in the frozen trench of a horse hoof print you twist your ankle. You are distracted by the pain. Your dog might sense a cooled body but he is on a lead and you pass by without noticing a thing.

    You visit an elderly relative in hospital. You breathe through your mouth, avoiding the stench of urine and hospital sheets. You follow the brown signs on the wall. The endless relay of younger generations trooping back and forth with flowers reeks of the inevitable. As one patient passes, another enters the ward and a new family slips in to the ritual. Curtains are opened and drawn. And so on. It happens.

    Down the street, behind the frosted glass door of a ground floor maisonette, is the silhouette of a child. A toddler. Not much more than a baby but it is standing. Because it has to. Its fists are smearing something on the inside of the glass. It is trying to reach up to the letterbox. It can't. The door is shut. The child screams. It is alone. You look ahead and keep walking.

    It's someone else's problem.

  31. Gerry said

    words fall into silence
    losing tones and semitones
    missing undertones

    even a sentence loses meaning
    when the baby dies
    one single letter for his name
    is written on wet stones

  32. She fell asleep, never to wake. The silence entombs her parents, heartbroken, not wanting to believe it is true and today we wear pink, light a candle in her memory.

  33. She does not have the English words for a card to slip through the letterbox, so she squeezes my hand over the garden wall. Silver tears spring in our eyes.


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