• Nicci Coertze

Beyond (dedicated to Baby M)


Beyond the press releases and beaming social media posts Beyond the television programs and magazine articles Beyond the placards and marches and photos Beyond accolades and applause - There you will find her Alone in a depressing, cramped space at a funeral home With nothing but her own deafening heartbeat in her ears In ominous silence at a place of sadness and tears Her only company the tiny, fragile body of a beautiful baby girl Who nobody else wants to touch A little princess with purple rosebud lips and wisps of hair clinging to her dainty little head With what seems like a small smile on her tiny, perfectly sculpted little face Her body battered and bruised from spending four days in a place no baby should ever be Trying to help her mother heal by taking soft photos of a hard reality Trying to get hand and footprints from her tired little body Trying to be as careful as possible with lifeless limbs and uncooperative hands Trying not to cry Trying to slowly inhale gulps of life-giving air whilst working with a petite, fragile corpse Trying not to let the hopelessness of the situation get to her Trying to ignore the odour that makes her stomach turn Trying to suppress the anxiety that is threatening to overwhelm her Helplessly and desperately trying just one more time Trying, trying, trying One more photo One more print One more memory And battling with not getting it perfectly right Promising herself that it’s the last photo Fighting with herself when it clearly wasn’t Ultimately realising that she has done all she possibly could Reluctantly putting her camera down Mechanically and meticulously cleaning everything she has touched With alcohol that doesn’t disguise the all too familiar smell of death And when she’s finished Slowly lowering the minute little body with gloved hands into a beautiful white marble coffin Putting a pretty angel gown on her broken body Gently covering her with a satin blanket with cute butterflies and happy flowers she had lovingly painted especially for her the day before And before leaving, whispering words of comfort and farewell in little ears that cannot hear Softly closing the coffin with a sigh And finally, angrily ripping the gloves from her hands Throwing it into the full bin that tells the story of a battle that took place A battle to bring peace and acceptance and make memories To try and give something to people who would have nothing but anguish otherwise Giving them photos and footprints for a lifetime of tears to come It’s the least and the most she can do.

“I don’t know how you do what you do Nicci.” Neither do I. Neither do I…

If you have lost a baby and need support, please visit www.ncot4u.com and www.werememberourbabies.online


Banking details:
Nicci Coertze Inc.
Capitec Savings
Account no: 1358502534
Branch code: 470010
Proof: nicci@vox.co.za.

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