I wrote this poem after my son Michael died at 23 weeks gestation and read it at his memorial service.
How do we see
The likeness of God
In this incomplete child,
Whose voice will never be heard
Calling for his parents,
But who creates such powerful emotions
Just by not being?
We look at the child in Bethlehem:
Yes, he lived,
But many considered his death
A waste of such potential.
And yet, through His death,
To all who have lived, are living,
And will live.
This child, knitted in the womb
By God Himself,
Has no such claim,
No grand design,
But in the drawing together of
Man and Wife,
Friends and Family,
We may yet have cause to
For the dropping of a stitch.
I am an Autumn child,
Born in October,
And therefore seem to have an affinity with
This movement into
It is a season that holds
Opposites in harmony.
The Summer fades,
But the trees burn brightly
In reds and oranges;
A final flame before the icy shades of
If I paid much heed to horoscopes,
I would say that Libra, my sign,
Is appropriate to Autumn,
Holding the year in balance,
Contemplating what has gone before,
Anticipating what is to come.
It is a time to slow down a bit,
To luxuriate in the afterglow of
To eke out what remains of the warmth,
Before the chill sets in;
To gather in the harvest and
Store up supplies for the lean months ahead.
I have always been drawn to
Deep russets, soft yellows,
Colours of the earth.
I love the fragrance of Autumn,
The smoky smell of burning leaves or
Log fires blazing in cosy hearths.
The whiff of fireworks,
The aroma of apples being stored;
The scent of nature settling down.
There are sounds that I associate with Autumn too.
The rustle of leaves, kicked by laughing children,
The crackle of burning wood,
Trick or Treaters going from door to door,
Never ending explosions on the Fifth of November.
And the weeks before and after.
Autumn also has its own quality of
Light, a clarity and freshness,
A hazy morning mist rolling through the valleys,
Over rivers, streams and fields,
Evaporating in the rising sun.
Autumn light lacks the harshness of Summer sun,
Bathing the world in its soft glow.
So let us not mourn the loss of Summer,
But relish the restfulness of Autumn.
Henry Dunn, October 2010