Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Moment Before…--By Richard Sponaugle--United States

A Moment Before…

Ten month old Mary
was stomping awkwardly in her crib,
a frantic ranger putting out a forest fire.
But there’s no warning flames of death,
and Mary now lies silent in her crib,
a motionless Barbie doll minus the strings
to make her walk or talk or cry…
The deafening sounds of Mary’s non crying
turn her parents into spontaneous
yet synchronized sprinters,
covering the five yards to her crib
in one second flat.
They beg Mary to move, but don’t sob;
their eyes are dried out wells,
having lost infant Mike the same way
a short-yet-eternal year ago.
Tom and Tammy both sense
they’ve married a serial child killer.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
has claimed four victims of the Fry family.

Richard Sponaugle was born 4-20-60 in Maryland and raised in Northern Virginia.  He received a BA from George Mason University.  A prolific poet and songwriter, he has been published in many venues. 


  1. Tear-jerker, but very well illustrated and written. Thanks for sharing, Richard. Nicely done.


  2. Thank you Richard for such an emotionally poignant poem. It was heart rending and leaves me wondering if you knew the family. Hard to fathom such tragedy. You did agood job portraying such an emotional event. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Richard, I don't know how I missed this poem earlier. Truly, it evokes so much emotion that I am speechless. My condolences to the Fry family. This is more than any couple should have to endure. A true test of faith. Can't stop the tears... Blessings to you and the Frys, Carolyn Devonshire

  4. Such a sad poem. I am crying. I have lost three pregnancies to miscarriage. But to have the child live for a few months and then to lose them is beyond sad.
    Thank you for this moving poem.

    Shirley Smothers

  5. Dear Richard -

    Your images are stunningly sad and vivid. How well you relate the horror. What burden has been lain upon the Frys and my hope is that they do not lose theirs.

    Thank you Richard; you and the Frys now have a special places in my soul.


  6. Dear Maurice, Charlene, Carolyn, Shirley, and Kathy,

    Thank you for your encouraging comments on Rick's thought-provoking poem. I will send him these comments by mail.

    Dear Rick,

    This poem is an emotional journey. Thank you for sharing it for Whispers. I appreciate your ongoing support. Best wishes with all your writing endeavors.