Tag Archive for 'Exhale'

A Poem for my Son on his Due Date

by Robin Silbergleid 

i.

A boy empties a white pail

into flames on my television

and my hand holds that place

it never left.  I watch and wonder

what happened to my son

when the doctor wrenched him

from my body too small

to be seen on the sonogram

but big enough to swell

my whole world.  My breasts

my belly even my heart

sore from pumping blood

to his stumped cells.  After

when I was back in the bed

with Raggedy Ann legs

she asked if I was stubborn

the way a mother might ask

another woman’s child.  My uterus

clenched around what wasn’t there

and wouldn’t let go.  Then

she put her hand on my forehead

and we were two women

who had created a child together

and there are no words to say

what passed between us.

 ii.

 Those snow-covered weeks

before surgery, I saw

my son in the backseat of the car

looking out an airplane window

asking for French toast in the morning.

I am not a person who has visions

I am not a person who believes in ghosts

or even God.  But this dark-haired boy

who held my hand when we crossed the street

only he could have been my son.  Benjamin.

 iii.

 I refuse to pretend

my son is an angel

on a fat cloud watching over me.

iv.

 Once I imagined dressing him

in tiny t-shirts swimming in ducks,

floppy hats that tie under the chin.

I would have taken him to the park

I would have spent the summer

I would have

I                                                   

v.

 Women talk about their pregnancies

not their miscarriages.  Words whispered

under the hum of fluorescent bulbs

while what was left poured out of me

onto white sheets.  It is six months later

and my body opens like a sieve:

a jumble of bloody syllables.

 

Robin Silbergleid is the author of the chapbook Pas de Deux: Prose  and Other Poems (Basilisk, 2006). Her poems and essays have appeared in journals including Dislocate, Crab Orchard Review, The Truth About the Fact and The Cream City Review, for which she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  A survivor of pregnancy loss and single mother to a spirited five-year-old, Robin is a regular contributor to the online journal Exhale. She is current assistant professor of English at Michigan State University.




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