This poem was written for an assignment last year, inspired by a true family story. My twin sister has just found the birth certificates of the two babies, Winifred and Wilfred Clark, so it seemed a good day to post it.
They wrapped you in white blankets,
swaddling you tight to keep you warm.
It was not enough to ward off death,
who came and wrapped her chill, thin fingers
around you both. Your mother’s face
crumpled, as pale as the tiny tissue-white
bodies, she cradled, unbelieving.
There was no coffin small enough to carry
such tiny bodies. Your father found a drawer,
empty now of baby-linen, just large enough
to lay you in. It was too early for the two
of you to be at rest. Still, the warm earth
welcomed you, wrapping you in her tender
arms, as the wind sang to you in your sleep.
c Virginia Moffatt 2009