Jackie Kay

(1961 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

Baby Lazarus - Poem by Jackie Kay

When I got home
I went out into the garden
Liking it when the frost bit
My old brown boots
And dug a hole the size of a baby
And buried the clothes
I'd bought anyway, just in case.

A week later I stood at my window
And saw the ground move
And swell the promise of a crop;
That's when she started crying.

I gave her a service then
Sang Ye Banks And Braes
Planted a bush of roses
Read from the Bible, the book of Job
Cursed myself digging a pit for my baby
Sprinkling ash from the grate.

Late that same night
She came in by the window
My baby Lazarus
And suckled at my breast.

Topic(s) of this poem: baby


Comments about Baby Lazarus by Jackie Kay

  • (3/28/2018 1:54:00 PM)

    This went right to my heart. My first baby was born after nine months, lived 2 minutes and died. How well I remember taking the tiny clothes to the attic and putting them in a box and sealing it. One day, I found the box, could not imagine what it was for, opened it and just fell apart. This takes me back. (Report)Reply

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  • (9/26/2016 10:15:00 AM)

    Oh what a powerful poem. Is this inspired by a cot death, abortion, stillbirth? Who knows, but an excellent poem nevertheless. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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Poem Submitted: Saturday, February 14, 2015



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