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Beautiful - But Vacant
by Judith Gayle Smith 
10/28/03
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Beautiful, But Vacant

Milk-glass porcelain delicate,
she was beautiful, but vacant.
Unfocussed eyes violet blue.
weighed less than a heartbeat.

Beautiful, but vacant.

A truly sweet “Gerber baby”,
but her spirit was missing.
Wispy blonde ringlets
framing the rosiest cheeks!

But her spirit was missing..

A rag doll, she seemed
to be "existing" in my arms.
Ethereal, so tiny -
I feared to breathe on her.

"Existing" in my arms.

She was our first foster baby,
so limp and unmoving.
She heard not our voices,
as if we weren't there.

So limp and unmoving.

So angelically frail,
heart-breakingly tragic.
She nestled comfy,
resting in my trembling arms,

Heart-breakingly tragic.

I held her tightly and lovingly
to my ample breast -
Gently singing and rocking her
to sleep's sweet rest.

To my ample breast.

Soon, while I watched,
a smile slowly started,
teasing her lips to a curve,
her hand to her ear.

A smile slowly started.

Her brilliant blue eyes
danced into my heart!
Her hand to her ear
was her signal to me!

Danced into my heart!

She wanted her bottle.
As her eyes caressed me,
she'd drowsily suck -
we were immediate lovers.

As her eyes caressed me.

Her Mother, fourteen,
was raped repeatedly.
Her despicable brother
fathered our living doll.

Was raped repeatedly.

She wasn't a Mother,
this child who bore a child.
She was pregnant again,
living in hellish squalor,

This child who bore a child.

They had a hawk flying loose,
defecating in the sinks.
One day they needed food stamps.
A social worker came and saw.

Defecating in the sinks.

It was a snowy bitter winter.
Beneath an open window
She was cold and hungry,
naked - so horribly neglected.

Beneath an open window.

She was hunching her neck
to get to her bottle.
It was carelessly
placed above her head.

To get to her bottle.

They took her away.

And they gave her to us.
She soon learned to laugh!
She crawled after our cat,
learned to walk and to play.

She soon learned to laugh.

She, playful and bright,
finally started to live.
We tried to adopt her.
Dispassionately, they said no.

Finally started to live.

Saying my beloved Michael
could never be a 100% Father,
having physical challenges. -
screaming our hearts apart.

Could never be a 100% Father.

Teaching her to crawl,
on his hands and knees
despite Rheumatoid Arthritis
and Post-Parkinson’s Syndrome.

On his hands and knees.

We wanted and needed her.
She needed us. We loved her so.
They thought she was autistic.
She was just partially deaf.

We loved her so.

They took her away.


Copyright © 2003 Judith Gayle Smith.


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Member Comments
Member Date
CASSANDRA GRANT 25 Jul 2004
This was indeed moving! Gob bless you
Steven Wickstrom 30 Oct 2003
Beautifully written. It is powerful, heart wrenching, and filled with emotion. It broke my heart to read it, but you did a superb job.
Deborah Porter  28 Oct 2003
Oh Judith! What can I say? This was overwhelmingly powerful and beautiful and tragic and so much more. Amazing poem. It broke my heart. With love, Deb




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