19 April 2010

(With apologies to Gauntlets)

The Unborn
by Sharon Olds

Sometimes I can almost see, around our heads,
Like gnats around a streetlight in summer,
The children we could have,
The glimmer of them.

Sometimes I feel them waiting, dozing
In some antechamber - servants, half-
Listening for the bell

Sometimes I see them lying like love letters
In the Dead Letter Office

And sometimes, like tonight, by some black
Second sight I can feel just one of them
Standing on the edge of a cliff by the sea
In the dark, stretching its arms out
Desperately to me.


MooreMama said...


I lost a September (02) baby and an April (08) baby. Interestingly, I birthed a September (08) baby and am growing a (maybe?) April (10) baby.

I may have never gotten the chance to look at their faces, or hold them, or feel their fingers curl around mine, but they're my children, just the same, and I will meet them someday. And the same way that I looked at Callie's face and felt like I'd known her forever, I'm sure that I will recognise my Hayden and my Jeremy when I do meet them.

Untamed Shrew said...

This made me cry. Though Juliet would not be here were it not for Eden's death, and though God clearly knows what is best, the barbaric, instinct-driven sinner in me still wants to claw out the eyes of the kidnapper.

Rebekah said...

Ah, girls. I thought of something completely different when I heard this. Several completely different things, in fact. I'm sorry to have made you sad.

Untamed Shrew said...

Why should cross and trial grieve me? Christ is near with His cheer; never shall He leave me.

So what were you thinking of?

Anonymous said...

>> on the edge of a cliff by the sea In the dark

Exposed on the cliff of the heart (Rilke)

MooreMama said...

Rebekah - You didn't make me sad. :) < see? I went through this when I was very heavily pregnant with C, too. I think that feeling the live baby rolls in my belly make my Other Babies come out to the tip of my brain to play. And they'll stay out, playing around the edges of my consiousness, for a few months while I memorize the face of New Addition and wonder if either/both of them would have had my coloring or curls ... or how they would have been different than their sisters.

I would like to know your "several other thoughts", though.

e&k said...

this makes me think of my sister who, though married, decided not to have children. :(

Rebekah said...

Anon, nice.

MM, E&K's interp is along the lines of what I was thinking.