To a baby not yet born

This is the sonnet for Ingrid’s EIF challenge. It’s not a Valentine’s Day thing, every day is Valentine’s Day in this house, but there’s love in it and that’s what counts. If you feel a sonnet coming on, link it to her post so we can all read it.



To a baby not yet born

When north wind blows through ragged winter trees,
Raking thorny claws through stark black hair,
Silent fall the furred and feathered, these
Who trembling cling to bough and brake, pauvres hères.
Living in the moment, hopes of spring
Are dim, when frost’s cold pelt lies on the ground,
And only soul to brave the blasts and sing
Is thrush, the lone unfrozen liquid sound.
Could there be life beneath this frozen skin,
The skim of ice on water, snowdrop-pierce,
Where deer scrapes break leaf-crackling, thin
As hunger clinging to the bones, as fierce?
Sleep, curled in nested flesh, heart-pulsing, warm,
My little one, untouched by winter’s storm.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

20 thoughts on “To a baby not yet born”

  1. So much cold to be sheltered from, but there is something special and joyful happening within. I especially love ‘ the lone unfrozen liquid sound.’ How lovely that your grandchild will be born in spring 😊

  2. Congratulations from a grandmother to a grandmother-to-be, Jane! A spring baby, too! Your sonnet reminds me of three years ago when the Beast from the East threatened to make me late for my grandson’s birth, and the absolute joy when I got there in time. I especially love the lines:
    ‘And only soul to brave the blasts and sing
    Is thrush, the lone unfrozen liquid sound’
    and
    ‘Sleep, curled in nested flesh, heart-pulsing, warm,
    My little one, untouched by winter’s storm.’

    1. Thanks Kim. Three of mine were spring babies so April is getting rather crowded for burthdays. My third was born in a blizzard, Easter Sunday. We walked through the snow at midnight to the hospital and five days later the three of us walked back in another blizzard.

  3. “Sleep, curled in nested flesh, heart-pulsing, warm” 💕 Great line 💕
    Such a beautiful poem you can one day share with your grandchild. Can’t wait for spring! 🌹🌼

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