Featuring diverse voices and perspectives on experiences of infertility, conception, termination, loss, pregnancy, birth and the early postpartum period, this collection illuminates the endlessly different ways the potential to carry life is experienced.
Every week we went walking, me with my baby
in the pram, then one more, then another.
You with your anguish, five years trying,
and still nothing to push in a pram
beside me. Each time we’d stop in the park
and you’d squat down to be with my children,
or ask to hold the baby. Walking
home, we’d pray, out loud, not caring
who stared at two Asian women, walking
and talking to God. I was always
exhausted. Always asking for patience
and sleep. More sleep. You were often
angry. Why did God take your mother
so early? Why the cancer that came
for you in your thirties, wasn’t diabetes
already enough? How long would you wait
for a child? Forever? I prayed for you,
wondering what kind of God would give
to one so much, so little to
another. Years later a photo
arrived from Sydney: a baby girl.
Yours. I pressed it to my chest
and wept. I thought of the holy book
we both know well, its string of stories:
barren women, unwed mothers,
longed-for children, and unexpected
arrivals. I take your story up
between my finger and my thumb,
and pierce it with my words: this pearl
of grief and joy, this tiny flaring
star, that pins you to my breast.
That tells us who we are.