Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I am not necessarily desirous to send bad news out onto the wavelengths. But I find that if I don't talk about a lost child, it seems less like he was real. I wrote the following poem two weeks ago. We lost/had Samuel Nielsen two days ago.


I suppose numbers are easy, simple, clear,
a seemingly accurate measure of something, anything:
your intelligence, your appearance, your worth.
But I have been, and remain evermore skeptical of their truth.

Statistically, only 1 in 10,000 babies conceived have
Trisomy 13--
3 number 13 chromosomes in the cells--
as if that defines, measures
what happened to Annie's body,
as if it tells how she looked, and moved,
how I felt when she was born, dead.
How is it possible 1 in 10,000 was us?

Statistically,only 1 in 100 babies conceived have
3 of each of the 23 chromosomes,
69 instead of 46 in the cells
1 in 10,000 are born live.
0 live past 10 months of age.
0 known connection between Triploidy and Trisomy
So, how is it possible that 1 in 100 was us?

What are the chances?
Where is the number that describes the likelihood
of losing 2 babies this way?

What are the chances
that this baby will live long enough
that there will be 2 graves side by side?
Or, will this baby be gone in 1 month, 1 week, or 1 day.

Where is the mathematician, the statistician
who could calculate the probability
that I would feel this
heavy, sickening, chocking, ache

Too improbable to be accidental
Too random to be random.
Numbers, like me, can't answer or define this one.

But, I seem to feel that Someone can.
Someone who knows not only what this would do,
but why I should face it once more.
Someone who not merely numbers his children
like the sands of the sea,
But knows each one.

Already I have carried this baby
for 12 weeks
Perhaps someone could figure what the chances are that
I will carry my child one week more.
But no one can measure how this small number of
weeks, and days, and minutes with my child
will affect every other day of my life.
It will be measureless, numberless,