With the prospect of an intrusive medical procedure in a week’s time, it’s hard not to ponder on what might go wrong and offer up a prayer whether you’re a believer or not. When I’m feeling happy, I write prose, but verse is more satisfying when I’m worried or sad.


Your first born lies there pale and still

Bloody fluid in his ear

His skull is fractured

His life in the balance

You pray – whatever your beliefs


Six weeks later

He lies in a hospital bed

His kidneys failing

Bloody fluid in a bottle left for you to see

You pray – whatever your beliefs


Your last child, born six weeks early

Her lungs not properly finished

They say she will not last the night

But somehow she survives

You pray – whatever your beliefs


And you’re not exempt

Breast cancer

Osteoporosis and

Multiple bone fractures

You pray – whatever your beliefs


Now comes the big one

The squeezing, gripping chest pain

You know this means that

Death has come a-knocking

You pray – whatever your beliefs


You haven’t suffered enough

For then your youngest

Who fought death once

Has stomach cancer, chemo and major surgery

You pray – whatever your beliefs


At the very end

When it’s nearly over

You pray – whatever your beliefs

For then you will finally know

If your prayers were heard?

Josh and the four kids 1970


Thanks to all the lovely people who have been reading and writing to me about all this in my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’

Woman in a White Coat


4 thoughts on “A MOTHER’S PRAYER”

  1. Dear Abby, what a beautiful, poignant and moving poem. I wish you all the very best for the medical procedure. Your books and blogs have inspired me and made me laugh and cry. All your devoted readers, I am sure, are thinking of you and sending a prayer, “whatever our beliefs”.

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