Community Stories. Get Inspired, Get Underlined


By @MeaningfulMee



She sits there.

In her one-bed council flat.

Serins speeding past on the street below.

Men shouting in the flat above.

There’s an off licence just around the corner.  

There is a bottle of rum on the countertop.

It’s empty.

It’s been empty for eight months now.

She uses it as a vase.

Buys some roses at least once a week.

Wants her little girl to get used to flowers.

Expect them from every man that comes her way.

Wants this little bumps life to be different than hers.

Wants her first words to be something other than,

“It’s my fault”


“Please mommy, wake up!”

Want’s her to be born with a chance.

She is prepared to give her, her all. 

She plans on it.

Has placed her life on something so tiny.

So fragile.

Looking around the room.

She knows it’s not a lot.

That this isn’t ideal.

But it’s the best they’ve got.

It’s hard to get a job.

It’s harder when your accent is known,

Rough and tough.

The city tone of urban poverty.

She knows how the story goes.

She’ll use money she doesn’t have to top up her phone.

But they’ll never call.

She’s well below the poverty line, 

She convinces herself it’ll be fine.

For the first time in her life,

She’s convinced it’ll all be fine.

Her baby will never wear designer clothes,

That doesn’t matter though.

Cos that baby will have all the love her mother could give,

And my god that’s a lot.

A lot more than she ever got.

She did something her mom never could.

Never would.

Stopped the drinking, the drugs,

The second she knew.

The second the test came back with two lines.

She got help, 

Turned her life around.

It’s five o’clock.

If this was eight months ago she’d be drunk, high.


Empty to the world around her.

The reality of her existence.

Now she’s holding her head high.

She’s outdone herself.

Become the kinda mother a kid deserves.

She pats her bump.

Whispers I love you.

Hoping she is awake and listening.

A smile lights up her face. 

Just at the thought of her coming along.

It’s six o’clock. 

Suddenly there’s a pain and butterflies in her stomach.

It is agonising but she is smiling,

All the way to the hospital.

She knows it’s early but not by that much.

The midwives are calm and it’s all fine.

She is screaming in pain but there is a light in her eyes,


Some time passes.

The pain gets worst then it’s gone.

The baby comes and then it is gone.

She is smiling arms open.

Ready to hold her little girl.

She looks at the midwives face.

Panic sets in.

She hopes it’s something passive. 

She can’t come to themes with anything more.

She waits for a cry.

The midwives start to rush around her.

She waits for a cry.

Trying to make the tiny heart beat.

She waits for a cry.

But she hears the words,

“She’s stillborn.”

At first, she shakes her head.

She did everything right.

This isn’t okay.

It can’t be true.

She goes pale.

They are talking but she isn’t listening.

Tears pour down her face.

The light vanishes from her eyes.

Eight months and hours of agony,

For what?


Nothing can fix this.

But she knows something that can mask the pain.

She doesn’t know how else this could go.

She holds the body.

Imagines the life they could have had.

Then passes her precise to a nurse.

And let’s go.

By the morning she’s home.

Completely alone.

Her body is empty.

She looks around the room.

The baby clothes and cot.

The rose on the counter top.

Picks up the makeshift vase,

Throws it across room.

Watches it shatter against the wall.

Falls to the ground,

Tears pouring down her face.

Whimpering loudly but silent.

No one is listening.

After a while,

She takes a deep breath and crawls across the floor.

Picks up the flowers and broken glass.

She grasps onto shards with her shaking hands.

They are cuts her palms but she doesn’t care.

Nothing could hurt,

As much as her heart.

She picks up another piece.

This one has the label.

She can feel it in the back of her throat.

Taste the bittersweet apathy,

That comes with a little too much. 

She drops the shards back onto the ground.

Picks up her purse and heads around the corner.

It turns six o’clock.

The vase is still shattered and laying on the floor.

She’s been and come back.

Unscrews the cap.

And chugs it down.


Down she falls.

Spiraling once more.

Drinks another.

A tear falls down her face.

Another one.

Empty bottle after empty bottle,

They crash against the floor.

One by one,

She watches as her future crumbles,

Crashes, falls.

She doesn’t care though.

Holds her stomach.

It is empty.

Chugs another.

Trying to feel anything,

Anything but empty

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