“Storm Drain Baby”

This happened in Atlanta, about a year ago.  How do you comprehend the incomprehensible?

Lady Nyo

STORM DRAIN BABY

Yesterday a baby was born,

Placed in a storm drain

To die by a father who wasn’t.

Three days of heavy rain

Washed the Blood of this Lamb

Into the sea.

He was found, expected to live

And died,

His short life measured in scant public

Outrage.

The 19 year old father said as they

Led him away:

“It was a miscarriage gone wrong.”

The rain continues today

Rushing down streets

To storm drains,

Making a gurgling sound.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

September 18, 2009

Tags: , , ,

55 Responses to ““Storm Drain Baby””

  1. Ben Langhinrichs Says:

    How sad. “A miscarriage gone wrong.” A well written poem about a tortuous subject.

    Like

  2. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Ben. I remember being outraged, but mostly on the constant verge of tears for days. This happens in our society, but we generally are at a loss for words and explanation.

    Perhaps poetry was the only way to make some ‘sense’ of it all. And in the end, there is no sense to it.

    Thank you for reading and commenting.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  3. Abeer The Desert Rose Says:

    that was too sad..hope parents realize how precious it is to have a blessing of God such as this baby..thank you for pointing out such serious matter.

    Like

  4. gospelwriter Says:

    A well-written poem – poignant, and the outrage is clear. Of all that struck me here, this:

    Placed in a storm drain

    To die by a father who wasn’t.

    Very effective, the way that reads.

    Like

  5. KB Says:

    A tragic One Shot!

    Like

  6. Jingle Says:

    sad reality…
    well put!

    Like

  7. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Jingle. I wish I didn’t have to write this poem.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  8. ladynyo Says:

    There is no understanding how a new ‘father’ could do such a thing.

    Thank you for reading, KB, and commenting on this sad event.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  9. ladynyo Says:

    You know what? I was so outraged, shocked…I was really beyond words. I think this sentiment, as sharp and unanswerable as it was….made the poem just…well…sharp.

    How can words answer to what happened? I think shock overcomes everything here.

    The background of the parents, especially the father is very telling and a product of a part of society that is lost to me and to any decency. He was 19 (she 18)…and before people think this man was confused, etc….he has a record of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, drug possession and dealing. All by the age of 19. So what we have here…in my estimation…is a sociopath that is bred without conscience.

    And what happened is perhaps the flow outward of this lack of conscience. Poor baby didn’t have a chance.

    Thank you, Gospelwriter, for reading and leaving a comment. Perhaps our poetry is the only ‘sense’ we can make of these things. Perhaps poetry is the only way we can handle these things?
    Lady Nyo

    Like

  10. ladynimue Says:

    How cruel … anf how shocking ! I appreciate your strength to pen this ..

    Like

  11. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, lady nimue. I don’t know about strength….I think it was more shock and outrage. We seem to go into automatic, we poets.

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Yes, cruel and sad and unfortunately, not uncommon.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  12. betweenhearts75 Says:

    Very very sad and well written. ~ A place that I loved in my youth, a young mother who could not handle…took her infant (weeks lost, and apparently tucked in a closet awhile) left in the local park. Oddly the place I felt so comfortable in, changed on some emotional level, the WHY….the why not seek help.

    Too much of it in this world, far too much.

    Like

  13. Steve Isaak Says:

    I read this recenlty (as you know), but it bears repeating: bleakly cruel, with an almost-too-effective baby-echoic end line (“making a gurgling sound”). Effective, reads like a force of nature – be it gentle, wild or whatever, depending on her mood – as usual.

    Like

  14. brian Says:

    lord…you got my stoach in knots over this one…like a punch to the gut…nice one shot!

    Like

  15. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you….I think! LOL!…Steve, you are always so deep. I could drown in your poetic sentiments…and probably have! LOL!

    I do wish, though….that I had no reason or experience to write this. It was like a nightmare that went on and on. Though the media did bury it (no pun intended) fast enough. I have never been able to find out what the hell happened to the parents.

    I have my own standard of justice for ‘parents’ like this, but it’s not p.c.

    You know…already …that I am pretty verbose in my poetry…imagery, etc. But this one was…well…words got in the way. Remember the issue of flashers in ERWA?? Well, this was an emotional flasher. It was the same: words were almost too much.

    Thanks, Steve…as always. And I really like that “echoic” issue you raised. I wouldn’t have known what to call it. I think though, I see that in a lot of my poetry for some reason. I think it’s…an attempt to wrap it up and relate the stanzas from the first one to the ending…something….

    Jane

    Like

  16. ladynyo Says:

    I’m with you completely, betweenhearts. You speak exactly to my present sentiment. I think the violence and this horrific stuff I have seen over and over in Atlanta has queered the entire city for me. Or perhaps it has made me go inward….and avoid humanity.

    In reading of poets in the past, especially during war time….I have read that this is not uncommon.

    Perhaps these things….these horrific things….dig so deeply into our psyche that we have no answer for them…and the only way we can handle or deal with them is through our poetry? We are blessed that we have that ability.

    I am so sorry for your own disruption of place, but I can understand. There is no answer to Why, I believe. Human nature is riddled with these ‘solutions’…. This is perhaps the extreme of it when it happens to children.

    Thank you for reading and commenting.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  17. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Brian. Gives a new meaning to the issue of ‘one shot’….neh? I’ll like one shot at the ‘father’.

    I really pondered over posting this one. It is stark, a downer, too true for a part of humanity, and as people have said….the event is haunting. I couldn’t get it out of my head for months. I don’t think I ever will.

    “The Rest Of The Story” is even worse. If it could be beyond the factual rendering. I just don’t know. Perhaps we as poets have a duty to write these things, but they haunt and tear us up.

    I PROMISE something more uplifting for next week! Promise!

    Thank you, Brian for reading and commenting.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  18. Jamie Dedes Says:

    So sad for all involved and for us to read, mourn, and pray for the unknown child. Well poemed. Poem on …

    Like

  19. dustus Says:

    Couldn’t believe my ears when I heard the quote, ““It was a miscarriage gone wrong.” Heart-heartrendingly brutal. Thank you for deciding to post this one, and for sharing your thoughts about the writing of it.

    Like

  20. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Adam. I really struggled about whether to post it. It’s not the usual poetic stuff that we want to read and remember.

    I wanted to reach out and strangle that ‘father’. He first said that the baby was stillborn. It wasn’t. Both the father and mother said that they had placed it in a dumpster behind a building. They didn’t. He already had placed the baby in a narrow storm drain hours before. Had they been truthful, who knows???

    To me, there is nothing worse than a couple trying to cover their own deeds with lies that cost this poor baby it’s hours- old life. I am still outraged.

    I don’t believe in a Heaven or Hell, but I think these two deserve…at least the ‘father’…Hell’s worse circle. At first I was trying to make the usual excuses we have come to do in these cases: single parent raised, uneducated, oppressed minority….

    Bullshit. This is pathological behavior of the lowest order. He was a convicted thug…kidnapper/assault with a deadly weapon/drug dealer/ etc…all by the time he was 19. No value of life at all…even his own child.

    The poignancy of this situation…the exposure of this baby in cold, rain water when we had been having three days of torrential rains and storms….is beyond comprehension.

    I do wonder though, at the responsibility of us as writers and poets. Someone told me that these things were too sad to write about. I don’t believe that: I think we need to write about these things: with as much passion as we can muster.

    I will never forget this. I just hope that this baby will not be forgotten by others. It was quickly forgotten by the media. I think it shone a light upon a section of society that was so disturbing it was embarrassing to people.

    Tough shit.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  21. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Jamie. It’s apparently….not uncommon amongst a section of our society today.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  22. Shashi Says:

    A miscarriage gone wrong.. sad and poignant…thanks for sharing..

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
    Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

    Like

  23. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Shashi! Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  24. Gay Cannon Says:

    The loss of a life at any age is to take away a gift that’s been given to the world; but a murder of a life unlived is so tearing and terrible that the weight of that loss almost can’t be borne and is felt by all. Strong and effective poem in sharp focus. Thanks, Gay @beachanny

    Like

  25. moondustwriter Says:

    that child would have said “that was a father gone wrong.”

    A sad piece but eye opening my dear

    thanks for once again sharing with One Shot
    glad you are here

    dont know if you know about our competition but would love to have you enter

    Moon smiles

    Like

  26. Emmanuel Ibok Says:

    Wow…so sad….its unfortunate what we do to little helpless kid…so unfortunate. A sad picture invoked here. Nicely done.

    Cheers.

    Like

  27. Nelly Says:

    awwww
    ❤ ❤ ❤

    Like

  28. ladynyo Says:

    Yes it is….and it is unconscionable what is done in society. Thankfully, most of society isn’t like these sociopaths. Unfortunately, there are way too many of them around.

    Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  29. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Leslie! Good to read you!

    I’m very glad I am here, too. It’s good to be amongst other poets.

    The baby apparently was ‘making baby sounds’ according to the EMTs when they pulled him out of the storm drain. (by the way, I saw the photos of the hole this man stuffed his newborn son in. A pipe, where water from different drains washed over his body). This isn’t a man, or a father, but a blight on humanity.

    Yes, I saw the competition, but I don’t know much about it. I’ll check it out and thank you for the heads up on it.

    Thank you for reading this poem and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  30. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Gay. I think you expressed my sentiments exactly. It’s very hard to put into words, beyond our outrage. At least it is for me.

    Exactly: “The weight of that loss almost can’t be borne.” Perhaps that is why we are haunted by these events.

    Thank you, Gay. You give me some solace here.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  31. Leo (Leonnyes) Says:

    a sad truth Lady Nyo.. it happens so often here, in India, and not even by young parents… a father gone wrong in this poem.. a sad topic to which you’ve done a good take!

    My One Shot is here:
    http://leonnyes.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/the-elements/

    Like

  32. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Leo!

    I think you are very right, Leo. Here, this murder was driven by probably some of the same issues that drive child murder in India.

    The world suffers the same all over. Is it stress, poverty, or outright pathological ruthlessness?

    Thank you for reading, Leonnyes.

    My best and Peace.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  33. Sherry Blue Sky Says:

    Powerfully written. A more-than-sad story, told well and poignantly.

    Like

  34. Eric Says:

    This is why poetry can save the world – people have become too detached, unemotional, self-involved and apathetic. Poetry can show people that we all feel, that life is a gift.

    Like

  35. ladynyo Says:

    This is better said than I could have.

    Thank you, Eric.

    I was looking for exactly that: how poetry can save the world. You pointed the path here.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  36. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Sherry.

    Any power was in the outrage…which I think can sharpen our poetry, and probably tip us over the edge. I know this story still haunts me. A timely message I believe, of what is precious and should be watched for.

    Peace,
    Lady Nyo

    Like

  37. Claudia Says:

    OMG – this is heartbreaking – so sad things like this happen – and far too often and all over the world..powerful write!

    Like

  38. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Claudia.

    Yes, heartbreaking is exactly the word for this.

    Thank you for reading and your comment.

    Peace.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  39. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Claudia.

    Heartbreaking is exactly the word for this.

    Thank you for reading and your comment.

    Peace,
    Lady Nyo

    Like

  40. Monkey Man Says:

    Clueless, selfish youth. Wanting the physical benefits of love making but not the responsibility of the consequences. Shame on him, but good for you for posting this.

    Like

  41. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you. I agree with you. It’s selfishness with a horrific end result.

    Thank you for reading and posting a comment.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  42. Terresa Wellborn Says:

    This poem just wrenched out my heart, completely, moved me like poetry should, in a real-world way.

    Loved the last stanza, how the water keeps running on, gurgling (ties nicely with the sounds a newborn baby makes).

    Like

  43. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you so much, Terresa.

    I think the last stanza is necessary to the poem….though some other poets thought the poem could stand without.

    I think it ties it together, as you have pointed out.

    Thank you for reading and commenting.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  44. pete marshall Says:

    thanks for sharing this…its sickening that this can happen…theres anger in me at the moment, i am ashamed to be a human sometimes…pete

    Like

  45. Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point Says:

    This is so powerful!

    Like

  46. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Belinda.

    I think the brevity of words help in ‘powerful’.

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  47. ladynyo Says:

    Yep, Pete. I know what you mean. This incident brought out surprisingly violent things in my own heart.

    We humans are far from perfection.

    Thank you, Pete, for reading and commenting.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  48. Glynn Says:

    It was a callous, ugly act, one made without a speck of personal responsibility — and you caught it very well indeed.

    Like

  49. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you!

    Like

  50. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Glynn. It is beyond comprehension. It is the underbelly of society that could do such a thing. But it also isn’t that uncommon in different variations. It wasn’t because this was China where girl babies were put out on a mountain side to die because there were too many mouths to feed. This baby would have been supported by all the welfare departments, etc….What kind of people are amongst us that could do such a thing to their own child?

    It would have been nothing for this mother and father to give up this child…to leave him at any store, hospital, fire department…and resolve their responsibility. They choose consciously to kill it. To commit an act of foul murder on the most innocent of beings.

    They deserve Hell. May they never have children again. They don’t deserve the the title of parent.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  51. buttercup600 Says:

    Wow…so very sad….why people do this is beyond me…thanks for writing about this xx

    Like

  52. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, for reading and leaving a comment.

    I am going to venture a statement here that won’t be very popular with lots of folk. This behavior is the end result of a black culture that is more interested in status amongst hommies than life. I’ve seen this before in some various ways after 40 years in Atlanta. This thug, at 19, already was convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, drug dealing and according to neighbors, spent his day at home outside with his friends making trouble. Noise, drinking, drugs, gangs.etc. The mother of this thug worked, but this thug apparently was something we see in the black culture that is very common: dropping out of school early, having values of drug dealing and crime. Apparently, there was no father around.

    Our streets are full of teens that have no purpose or direction in life except to score drugs and to do this, they rob. Where are the men who are supposed to direct these young men?

    Twenty years ago some social workers warned that the crack epidemic would birth these kind of people. We didn’t see it at first, because they were young. But they arrived right on schedule. The amount of pit-bull dog fighting, animal cruelty, illegitimate children, abandoned children, domestic violence, drug dealing, robberies, murders, carjacking, etc. is a product of this part of culture. So the lack of conscience fits right into to this destructiveness.

    We have our own home grown terrorists that are destroying society from within. Any urban city , and the meth issues in the states like Kansas, etc., show this.

    The media was fast to make this story disappear. It was too full of the social and economic problems of our urban centers to let stand long. What happened as to court and sentences, I can’t find out.

    Other that this above, I haven’t a clue.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  53. gautami tripathy Says:

    In our country, something like this happen pretty often. And as you say, we can’t do anything about it. It saddens me deeply..

    ecstasies

    Like

  54. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Gautami!

    It deeply saddens me, too. But I think there IS something that can be done in my country. We have laws against this and if we don’t make excuses for the people who do this crap….we can at least diminish this behavior.

    I know nothing about the social/benefit structure in India, but in the US there are lots of agencies for cradle to grave care of people. Certainly these ‘parents’ were products of some of this benefit. They would have known that there were agencies to take this baby. They just were so neutered of natural laws (you don’t kill your young, children, etc.) that they didn’t care.

    Sociopath behavior with a horrible end game.

    Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

  55. ladynyo Says:

    You are welcome.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

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