Dark circles ring her eyes
red from lack of sleep and tears
she does not allow to fall
on her child on his sick bed.
How much weight he has lost
he only feeds through the tubes
going into him through the holes
the needles bore on his skin.
Her hand caresses his bony cheeks
her soul whispers an earnest prayer –
her child’s suffering be hers.
On her lips is a smile, even a laugh
with the other mothers in the ward
for very sick children who hear
their mothers’ cheerful voices
but do not see
their mothers’ bleeding hearts.


Claudia of DVERSE Pub challenges the community to write about a poem that conveys emotion without naming the emotion.   Having cared for children sick with common children’s cold and fever a couple of weeks ago and remembering feeling quite distraught about it, I thought of a mother and her very ill child.   Years ago, I had the privilege of accompanying some goodhearted friends in their regular  hospital visit.  There, I witnessed some extraordinary mothers who bravely faced and suffered the sufferings of their very ill children.   I hope I made a picture of them without making them look too mushy or maudlin.


Thank you for coming by.  🙂 Do visit Claudia and DVERSE for some great poetry. 🙂



  1. ugh. i could not imagine having a kid on the ward…how hard it must be to want to do something and feel so helpless….hoping each day something might change…

  2. this is heart-wrenching… those brave mothers trying to swallow their tears to cheer their sick kids up…brought tears to my eyes..

  3. You captured this well, unfortunately. Unfortunately because moments such as you described do exist. All the more reason to be compassionate human beings.

  4. Devastating to have a severely ill child. You must feel so helpless, especially when they are too young to communicate. You’ve captured this so well.

  5. This is a picture of love, terror, despair – for there can be nothing so intolerable as not being able to care for a sick child. I think only the threat of imminent massacre / war would be worse. Well done!

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