Killer White

By: Kathy Gardner

When I think of you
I think of color
Perfect, tiny, pink colors.

You were a perfect, tiny, pink baby
whose weight I could barely feel on my chest– 2 lbs and 15 oz of hope, dashed away.

I held you in my arms, stung by disbelief
cradling the remnants of a dream
a future, a life, an entire world.
Those moments it seemed like Queen Maleficent herself
had wrapped her hands around my throat
and Dr. Kevorkian had placed a handgun
beside the hospital bed just in case…

Sometimes it still feels that way.

The cord that nourished you,
that connected us,
that was supposed to sustain you and protect you —
is what killed you.

It’s a fact that just won’t seem
to settle down in my brain.
It rattles and rattles in deep corners of my mind,
popping other fixtures out of place.

I flop around from one day to the next
trying to balance myself
in a body that has been dismembered,
one that has been separated
from its core purpose in life.

I think the marrow in my bones
has actually dissolved
but somehow I am still expected to carry on
to continue walking on these two legs.

Every day something happens,
or nothing happens, and
I get punched in in the gut with a knife
(but who cares, Tinsley doesn’t live there anymore).

Was that too morbid?
Maybe I’m not morbid enough.

I have a suspicion
that my darkest, truest thoughts
have been tempered and tamed
by this ‘civilized society’ —
one that is afraid to stare too deeply into the ocean
without a spear nearby in the ship.

I have been undone by a memory,
a fervent hope,
a wishful calculation
that I worry now
would have been kinder left

Kathy GardnerAbout Kathy Gardner

Kathy Gardner lives with her husband Charlie and their two busy little boys, Charlie (6) and James (3) in Sandy Hook, CT. Their 3rd child, Tinsley, is already waiting for them in Heaven. Tinsley died suddenly in December 2017 at 32 weeks because of a True Knot in her umbilical cord. Kathy has found comfort in writing poetry to express her grief around losing her daughter and hopes other parents find comfort in her words, too.  She shares about her journey on Less Than One Percent (

Kathy works in public relations, adores Bob Dylan, and is a proud Dartmouth alumn.

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