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The Condition


The Condition

is identified by ultrasound at 38 weeks —
less than an echo where
there should have been loud celebration.
The condition would have you
weep aloud in the streets and will
cause some people to dash
across the road when you approach
but has left no breath to cry with.
The condition can be recognised by its family features,
primarily the nose. There is more
than one name for it, but only one outcome.
The condition surprises by not
being incompatible with a glorious day.
The condition is not compatible with life.

This Friday is the 10th birthday of my son, Aidan Michael Philip, and the 10th anniversary of his death. That’s when I was going to post this new poem — the last line of which is the precise form of words with which the consultant sonographer told us that Aidan would not survive — but it struck me that today it’s 10 years since we heard those words, and it seemed like today was the right time.

There is so much that I could say about the past 10 years and being 10 years on from those searingly painful days in September 2005. I might or might not have the energy and space to do so over the next while. For now, it is enough to say that his name is Aidan and he is and always will be part of our family.

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