November Verse 3

It’s only the 3rd of November and here’s my third stanza. Maybe I can keep this up, or maybe all hell will break loose when the 3rd of November hits the USA, and I’ll never write another verse.

November Verse 3: Joseph

Prompted by the episode of ABC Radio's Conversations 
in which Annabel Bower talks to Sarah Kanowski about 
the experience of stillbirth.

I don't know when I knew my mother
had a son who died at birth,
that I had one more older brother
one who never walked the earth.
I don't know when she told my sister
Joseph was his name. A whispered
revelation of old grief
kept locked away from time, the thief?
I know that when at seven, unknowing,
I chose Joseph as my saint
I saw no clue, however faint,
that that old wound had started glowing,
or maybe gave some ghostly joy
by channelling the other boy.

4 responses to “November Verse 3

  1. Twice for three still-births – the second occasion of twins – that latter occasion almost 30 years ago. Your story of your big brother – forever tiny – Joseph – from the times when little mention was made of such tragic events – moving – on behalf of your mother!

    I was briefly yesterday in Sydney – Crows Nest, Ashfield and Eastwood – driving – no GPS – streetscapes totally changed. As I turned right from Arthur Street into Brighton Street – I realised that there – I spent a year boarding when at Sydney – and down there to my left – I had my first two years – transformed into a leafy street! I had a couple of hours with Paddy – in good spirits…


  2. That’s beautiful, Jonathan


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