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Author Name: FreeCleanMan 10 Comments
Date Added: June 11, 2004 15:06:21 Average Score: (Needs 2)
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Category: Grieving & Loss Add To Favorites | Text Only
The little room is dark and silent now.

The room is always dark, by day or night.

There are no windows in this room.

Light only enters, when the door is opened,

From the dimly lit corridor outside.

But the room wasn’t always as quiet as this.

If you had been here six hours earlier

You might have heard a little, rasping breath

Coming out of the darkness.

Guided by that dreadful sound,

And walking very carefully,

And feeling the walls with your fingers,

You would, at last, have bumped into a bed.

If you had then put out your hand,

It would have touched upon a tiny form,

A little baby girl, not two days old.

Why is she here? What is she doing here?

Can this be true? Can this be happening?

It is true, and it’s happening right now.

Perhaps not very far from where you are.

I’ll tell you what she’s doing here: she’s dying

A long, slow death from hunger and from thirst.

Her mother’s in a ward nearby. She’s crying.

The doctor told her that her girl was stillborn.

While pregnant, she had all the tests

To check for disability,

And all of them proved negative.

Her daughter would be born a healthy child.

But technology is not infallible.

There was something there the scanners hadn’t spotted.

And the doctors only found it at her birth, when

It was too late to do anything about it.

The doctor, midwife, all the staff

Knew what the consequences were

Of this kind of misdiagnosis.

The parents could well sue the hospital

For imposing this burden upon them.

And make them pay the cost of raising her.

He knew that this could cost him dearly.

So, how could the problem be solved?

He decided to do

What he knew other doctors did at times like this.

He wraps the girl up in a large white blanket

And hands her to a nurse. She knows the drill.

She takes her to the room where she will die,

While the doctor breaks the sad news to the parents.

The nurse puts the girl in the bed

And takes a large white card from a drawer

That already has four letters written on it –


The letters mean “Feed Only On Demand”.

What an ironic acronymn!

She tapes the card securely to the bed’s head

To make quite sure there’s no misunderstanding.

Another nurse will come in later on

And make sure there is never a demand.

A little sedative should do the trick.

And that’s how little Margaret came to die.

(Her parents would have called her that).

Goodbye, little Margaret; it’s time to go

To a Father who is waiting

With arms outstretched to welcome you,

And who has loved you since your life began.

This world’s not ready for you;

It can’t afford the likes of you.

There are too many weapons to buy.

The world needs arms in order to protect itself.

But is a world that kills the likes of you

A world that’s worth protecting,

A world worth dying for?

Perhaps those cleverer than me

Can answer that one; I know what I think.
Author's Notes:
This poem is based on a conversation I had with some medical staff some years ago, and on some articles I read recently about the practice I describe.
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'HUSH LITTLE BABY' Copyright © Paul Peter McLean
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Comment By: FreeAngel on October 4, 2007 10:14:15 AM Report
What a sad world we live in today, beautiful write oh how i wish i was naive now


Comment By: FreeAngel on October 3, 2007 03:29:02 PM Report
My heart is breaking reading this you have created a waterfall of tears oh my god how very cruel this world is. I cant stop thinking about how horrid people can be who makes these rules? God i am so depressed now

A magnificent write highlighting what really goes on behind closed doors

Comment By: FreeWith pain comes strength on August 10, 2005 05:33:54 AM Report
That si just awful, hard to believe things like that can actually happen.
A very interesting write
Comment By: FreeCatriona Abrahams on June 16, 2005 03:25:57 PM Report
absolutely wonderful but like the other comments wish i hadn't read it. I'm quite upset now. I hate to think of these things cause there is nothing i can do. Perhaps you should send this to the papers or NO 10
Comment By: FreeBarbara Demasson on June 12, 2004 03:57:55 PM Report
This is a shocking, heartbreaking write. Horrific, despicable actions taken here...and it always comes down to the almighty dollar.

I have never heard of this action...and somehow, I wish I never had.

A tough and detailed write about a subject I'm sure needs exposure. This poem left me very upset.


Comment By: FreeAlison Storm Wolf on June 12, 2004 08:29:50 AM Report
Yes, day we will all have to answer for our actions! What shall the people responsible say THEN I wonder... when facing the maker and judge of all?

Seems to me there is much more priority given to making ways of killing people than of saving them. May God have more mercy on us...than these people have on those in need.
A very, very moving poem about a fact going on day in and day out in our hospitals with people of all ages!
Comment By: FreeShe Whispers on June 11, 2004 10:52:56 PM Report
Comment By: PremiumMary Lou Allen on June 11, 2004 05:23:01 PM Report
Peter, this one's for you. Dori understands. Riveting, yes. Oh to be naive. We are so, purposefully sometimes. We'd rather not know, than know and not know what to do about it, or if anything can be done about it, or should be done about it. Perhaps it's safer to know God's in charge and that's all there is to it. I admire your ability to address such issues in the brave and straight forward way you do. Your approach raises great passion in your reader. That's genius at work. Well done. ML
Comment By: PremiumMary Lou Allen on June 11, 2004 04:20:30 PM Report
Oh boy. So many crazy, mixed-up feelings. You've taken a complicated issue and expressed it succinctly. Who'd have thought you could cover so much territory in so few lines? Excellent work, Dori.
Comment By: FreeDori on June 11, 2004 04:06:33 PM Report
Peter - I was riveted by this. You have such a commanding hold on me when you write. excuse me now, I need to dry some tears and get back to work so I won't sit here with this look of horror. Makes me wish to be naive.


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