Touch: The Journal of Healing


The unnamed

    by Christine Klocek-Lim

Sometimes the world eats our young.

Coughing and hacking at the stubborn

ones, smiling at the easy few whose birth

is a mistake anyway. Most parents fight

against it, pulling on the little feet and heads

as though kisses will cure the problems

and sometimes it works. Sometimes

the infant will turn towards those large

hands and grow stronger, despite the world’s

bitter prodding. But there are others,

born abandoned, limping into the darkness

of the NICU. The isolettes isolated.

Even the nurses, those strong creatures,

won’t discuss what happens when they disappear,

their illnesses too dramatic to be mended.

So the world takes them back into the dirt,

their small faces quiet, the lips open,

so that sometimes the living will notice

the sweetness that lingers even after

the crying is silenced.

© 2009 Christine Klocek-Lim

Christine Klocek-Lim received the 2009 Ellen La Forge Memorial Prize in poetry and was a finalist in Nimrod’s 2006 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. Her first chapbook, The book of small treasures, will be published in December 2009 by Seven Kitchens Press. Her poems have appeared in Nimrod, OCHO, The Pedestal Magazine,, the anthology Riffing on Strings: Creative Writing Inspired by String Theory, Touch: The Journal of Healing, and elsewhere. She is editor of Autumn Sky Poetry, serves on the Board of Directors for The Externalist—A Journal of Perspectives, and her website is


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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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