a lost soul

She was the midwife on the trail,

They called on her at night,

When their wives were giving birth,

The midwife was on site.

She brought their babes into the world,

Souls brought into the church,

By the virtue of a saint

Who was giving  birth;

“I never lost a babe,” she said,

Her life was like no other,

And even though the child survived,

She sometimes lost the mother.

They knew so little, way back  then,

Of why some mothers died,

And even though she did her best,

The midwife sometimes cried;

Much later, she would tally up

The lives that she created

And of the souls that she had lost,

She felt she was berated;

Not that anyone chastised,

It’s God’s will” the people said,

Just the same, she felt the loss,

Her heart would fill with dread;

Everyone throughout the town

Each daughter and each son,

She’d birthed those babies on the trail,

And never lost a one.


Sandra Lee Smith     April 2010/updated May, 2018

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