Friday, July 8, 2011


My grandmother had her first child at 16; she became a grandmother at 42.  42!  I have friends that age, who, like me, chose graduate degrees, careers (2nd careers!), travel, sometimes mortgages over marriage and babies.  Those could wait.  At 20, the flesh was willing, but the mind...not so much.

And now, now that we've decided we are ready, now that we yearn for those children we put off having, our bodies are unsure.  We work at pregnancy the same way we worked at school, with the same dedication we put into demanding jobs.  So much less predictable, though.  So much more fragile.

I wrote these lines a year ago, more, with one specific friend in mind who had just lost a child.  Sadly, she's no longer alone.  We've made choices, good choices no doubt.  But choices nonetheless, leaving other paths untrodden.

We continue to yearn.

Lines for ___

A moment I did hold my breath and her.
Then the name passed as a whisper through my lips,
Nearly lost and barely heard. The sips
I took of ecstasy that day did sear
My throat and burned their way into my womb.
The susurrations pierced and tore, and she
Ate all of me. I murmured, agonied,
That name—my heart, my head, my soul consumed.

She does not grow, but still I have been wrecked,
Depleted, paled. A near-forgotten word
Leaps to my tongue unbidden and unchecked.
My breath takes form. My prayer ignites in flame,
And she burns up; deaf heaven has not heard.
I'm left among the ashes of her name.

No comments:

Post a Comment