Friday, August 27, 2010
Guilt of the choice
Come, child. It's evening. Come to me
And sit with me once more.
Let's rock here while the others sleep.
Let's see-your brother's twelve;
The baby is seven years old now;
Your little sister's eight,
And I have not decided if I'll tell them about you.
And you, you would be thirteen this year.
I do not know your name.
The color of your eyes, or hair,
Or where, or how, to blame.
The fear was all, the fear of change,
For I saw change as loss.
Against my dreams, my plans, my life
You seemed so small a cost,
Not knowing how your presence
Altered how I felt and thought,
Not knowing how you changed me
In the mix the hormones brought.
And you were not a child to me
But sickness, pain, and fear-
But oh, I know, I know you now,
Now that these three are here!
Your scent, your weight within my arms,
Your head upon my breast-
I did not know these things when I decided what was best.
And I am lost and so confused
And don't know how to feel,
For you, who were an illness,
Every year become more real;
Your brother and your sisters,
They proclaim you as they grow.
They make it harder still to face
The coldest truth I know:
What I knew and felt back then,
I cannot say I would not make
This saddest choice again.
Oh! My little lost unknown,
My first and neverborn,
Forgive the ignorance that sent you
To the dark, unmourned!
And no, it isn't every day
I find your shadow here;
Most times I'm far too busy
For reflection or for tears,
But sometimes, when the children sleep
And I have time alone,
I sit down in the dark, and rock,
And bring my baby home.