Friday, August 26, 2011

Strange Gift

A new neighbor I see for the first time
is in her open garage, with a girl toddler
wearing a pink snow suit, or rain coat
and boots. Pink anyway—the child two
or three years old I guess—a playmate
for Leila I hope at first. But then I see
the woman again, who says there is no
child—no daughter, step-daughter or
niece, no one I could have seen. Yet,
I did. And, for me there is a private
history to lean on in matters of
children. I see them sometimes
before they are born—I don’t know
how or why. Eventually they come
to life, babies of co-workers or
babies of sisters of friends I have
known, not usually my own sisters
or women I’m close to—but women
close to those I am close to. Why these
unborns announce themselves to
me, the barren one, I know not.
I only know it is a strange gift—
a crumb for the infertile wife,
childless aunt, post-menopaus-
al grandmother by marriage.

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