I wrote this poem about three months after Eliana’s death. It’s about the day they told us she had tracheal and bronchial stenosis, and the only chance she had was to do reconstructive surgery. The chances were not great that the surgery would work, but without it she was certain to die from the stenosis at some point fairly soon. They told us to pray and to just love her. I prefer reality to sugar-coating, but it was a terrifying thing to hear them say. I guess I figured that if they were telling us to trust in God, rather than to trust in the doctors, then it must be really, really bad. And it certainly turned out to be. I wish my faith in either God or the doctors could have saved her. But at least I listened to their advice about loving her. I held her every moment I could. I just wish now, knowing how it ended, that I had put off the surgery a little bit longer. I wish I’d have had even more time to love her and hold her. (D-Day means Diagnosis Day)


The word


Around and around



Every other sound


Lethal diagnosis


To breathe

Eardrums pound and pound

No comfort

Only fears

Start to surround

I loathe the word