There was a nobility in her bearing.
Some hint in her trembling jawline
that betrayed the ancient blood
which coursed in her veins.
Blood that now ran cold and
drained the color from her face.
She is, in this moment,
bound with a terrible intimacy
to her sisters across the centuries
who have borne so much suffering.
Their ghostly forms shimmer
behind her, a haunting halo of
faces crazed with grief.
Their hands reach out to carry
her staggering spirit and
the air is heavy with silent
inconsolable wailing.
For her heavy breast,
once full of promise now
hang impotent against her paper flesh
Her rounded belly has betrayed
the sacred coventant;
her womanly birthright.
Her womb has shriveled up
like a dry husk whose precious
seed has been scattered across a
barren field.
And the neighbors will tut-tut and
scurry about with their covered dishes
and mutter in reverential tones
“There, there dear, you’re young enough to have another.”
But worst of all is the appalling silence that
breaks her spirit.
Silence which hangs
expectantly in the air
and cradles the loud cries that
threaten from the nursery
but never come.

Michael E. McGarry, Class of 2001