We Cry Together

We Cry Together

Her shriek is raw, snapping all the world’s quiet
As dreams, unborn, tumble into the abyss of almost.
I don’t know this sound; an anguish that pierces my soul.
With what little strength I have, I grab her hand,
Weaving through the grooves of her sorrow,
Though my grip is frail.
The geography of her face is foreign to me,
As the doctor explains the terrain of a pain
I cannot mend. A black hole I cannot save her from.
Nah, this can’t be right. Look again! Refusing to accept my wife’s body,
As the site of such an inexplicable vanishing—
A promise left lingering in the world of daydreams.

She asks me and the doctor to leave the room,
Needing a moment to plead with the universe.
From the hallway, I hear her sobbing, an ocean devouring her smile.
My knuckles meet the steel door of a sterile hospital room,
Attempting to punch away our misfortune, until I can replace it
With something she actually deserves. For all of the IVF shots,
The nights we debated over names, the anxiety attacks about money,
And the moments we pinched ourselves at the idea of being chosen
by Saadiq. Saadiq Joseph.

How do you stitch a wound living in the syllables of a name never called?
There is nothing to say, when spun into a vortex of unspeakable loss.
We spend weeks huddled around grief like a campfire,
Telling silent ghost stories about the people we stopped being
Just days before. Nurturing a flame so small it could be mistaken
for hope.

In the most somber hours, when the world took its deepest breath,
I sat beside her, staring at the slight crescent of her unhoused belly,
For so long, I swore I heard a heartbeat, but it was actually planets collapsing
 In the cavities of my chest. And I wondered, how are we going to survive this,
And in time, my question was answered: Together.

About this poem

I am shattered by the gut-wrenching cry of my wife. She is faced with a profound loss, the details of which are being presented by a doctor — one that I refuse to accept.

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Written on May 02, 2023

Submitted by frederickt.joseph on August 22, 2023

1:47 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 1,825
Words 359
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 1, 12, 9, 6, 5

Frederick Joseph

Frederick Joseph is a two-time New York Times bestselling author, activist, philanthropist, and poet. He is also the recipient of the International Literacy Association’s 2021 Children’s & Young Adults’ Book Award amongst other honors. more…

All Frederick Joseph poems | Frederick Joseph Books

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Discuss the poem "We Cry Together" with the community...

  • Soulwriter
    Thank you for putting word to both of your pain. Sending you strength and hope and healing.
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • makhdoomafuad
    Chills throughout my body. A powerful poem conveying such a terrible tragedy. I cannot fathom the pain of such an event. Sending caring thoughts your way.
    LikeReply5 months ago
  • Philipo
    Fine work. Take heart.
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • Symmetry60
    This is worthy of top prize. Too good.
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • Vixility
    The tragedy whose expression is this poem cut painfully deep, and the words used to articulate it were so gripping, so vivid, the sad event is burned into me. The language this poem uses is so sincere and so eloquent that I was emotionally invested in the father's dark bewilderment, the mother's unspeakable anguish, and the lost (it breaks my heart to think of it) the loss of Saadiq.

    I must admit, when I read the final lines, I nearly burst into open tears. It must have taken unimaginable courage and emotional fortitude to set that painful event to verse ... and then to share it! My God ...

    Thank you for sharing this.
    LikeReply5 months ago
  • David_Zeoli
    This poem moved me greatly. Such a talent to convey so much emotion with words.
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • scott.alan116
    This is a powerful poem. The poignancy is expressed with images that are distinctive, direct, and memorable. With grief it's easy to over use sentiment but there is nothing self-indulgent here. This work exhibits a masterful control of well crafted language. The shock and the sorrow permeate each stanza as grief is portrayed and analysed from a growing realisation of its import and aftermath. If I may suggest one small change - the word "Together" (in the last line) deserves a line of its own without a colon. This would give it a more dramatic entrance and would reinforce the sense of triumph that I think is implicit. I nearly missed the significance of its appearance as it's almost drowned by the preceding words. A really evocative piece writing. 
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • Keilani
    This prose poem drives the anguish of loss as a lunging blade into the reader’s heart, yet gently and wondrously discovers the way forward.
    LikeReply 15 months ago


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"We Cry Together" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 2 Mar. 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/168512/we-cry-together>.

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What is the term for the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.
  • A. Dithyramb
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