One Who Came So Young And Early

A poem composed as a reflection of emotions of the parents of an extremely premature baby boy born at 23 weeks of gestation. Sadly we could not sustain his precious life beyond the second day. Staff in the neonatal intensive care units (NICU) offer support to such parents during their difficult times and this poem is a tribute to the caring neonatal clinical professionals and the parents who strive to cope when babies are born at the margins of viability.

He came to us so young, why? We don’t know for sure
He then left us so early, why? We don’t know for sure.

He gave us joy and made us cry, all at the same time
He lifted our spirits and stopped our hearts, all at the same time.

He was tired to breathe, we gave him the breath of love
He felt cold and shivered, we warmed his soul with hugs.

He cried of thirst and hunger, we expressed our love as milk
He turned pale and mottled, we made him pink with blood.

He taught us lessons that we didn’t prepare to learn
He brought us memories that we would cherish as a dream.

He wrote a play that we failed to grasp, yet watched the show
He handed a book that we failed to edit, yet read till the end.

He is the one who came so early and then left us so early
He is the one who will be with us till the end of our lives.

Prof. Roy K Philip FRCPCH, FRCPI, FJFICMI, MD, MBA, Adjunct Clinical Professor of Neonatology, Consultant Neonatologist, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, Limerick V94 C566, Ireland.
Tel: +353872209717; +35361482312
Email: [email protected]