chocolate is a verb

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Tag Archives: children

found poem: We that spoke


Her husband didn’t want children. Didn’t want the responsibility—or the expense. And lord knows, the expense was always foremost in his mind. For him, it was probably the right decision. And when they got together, got married, it was all right for her, too.

For quite a while they led their childfree life and everything seemed fine. But then, as she moved through her 30s and into her 40s, it was no longer all right. It was no longer childfree; it was child-less. A child was a palpable absence. A hole in her heart. An emptiness in her arms. She talked about it with him, pressed her warmth against him to defrost this icicle part. But he would not budge. It was as they had agreed—as she had agreed. There would be no child.

She was broken, and brokenhearted. The world became her child. She lavished her care on others. On newcomers and old-timers. On relatives and relatives of friends. On her house. Wherever she could find a need for love, she applied love’s healing salve. Her stomach flat, she admired the rounded bodies of pregnant women, cooed over their flocks of children, embraced them as part of her larger family. She laughed often, giggled like a child, had a hard time staying in her chair, seemed devoted to her husband, rode her bike and sang songs.

But in her heart, the stone of pain throbbed, the entire world a reminder. It was a sadness that would not subside, would not melt or shatter. It was a secret pain, a shadow on the X-ray, a catch in her breath. Folded inside her—a deep blue origami box—it became her solace. Her companion. Her unfulfilled hope. Her morsel of possibility. The door of “what if” that she could open wide and step through, into a world all her own. A world where a person could get lost. Completely.

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