Infertile

I
The phone rang;
it was the kind of call
that made you
hold your breath;
What is the conclusion of the wait
After the blood draws and ultrasound?

A message, a puzzle
half-lost through the wires
of the telephone cord and
half-recieved by shock.

II.
In my womb’s underwater cavern
there is only desolate, floating tissue;
It waits for a pearl to come and sleep
suspended in the dark of pink waters
and the warmth of soft flesh.
It waits for the beginning,
even though pearls are extinct in this place.

We all began in our mothers,
we all began here,
but the pearl,
the beginning of beginnings
does not come –

No swollen belly,
no nausea, no cravings,
no feeling your own future child
kicking and moving inside of you,
no aches, no choosing a name,
no howling in labour pains, no birth,
no holding a tiny pink body
and all its wetness and crying
for the first time,
shiny and bundled in a blanket.

But there is a mother in me
if you should come to me.

Winter Scenes (December 2012)

In the darkness of the setting sun, 
snowflakes begin to fall,
tutus dancing pas-de-deuxs against the dimness 
of street lights and moonlight.
 
The trees drop their leaf clothing, naked, preparing for sleep, 
as if waiting for the comfort of a snowy robe,
as if a baby waiting to be tucked in by its parents.
 
The streets become lonely, 
retreating within themselves.
Roofs exhale their burnt-wood breath,
the only sign of inhabitants.
 
Bundled children have left, 
taking with them their laughter.
They watch the snow fall from the window with anticipation,
like wind-up toys waiting to be released,
for a Snow Day, snow men, snow angels, sledding, until they fall asleep.
 
Others wrap themselves in blankets,
or sit by a fire with company.
But sometimes the snow is company enough 
in this time of inwardness and solitude.
 
The snow falls, 
and falls,
and falls.
 
If you listen closely, you can hear the faint crunch 
of two pairs of feet in the snow.
She puts her scarf around his neck,
pulling them into a closeness that makes them forget the cold.
She tells him the news, she will soon become swollen with new life. 
He brushes the snow from her eyelashes and takes boards the train for home.
 
The snow falls,
and falls,
and falls.
 
The trees become glassed with ice, revealing their fragility.
The sun rises, a pale pink outline of the horizon, 
to a shimmering meditation, the faint chirping of birds and cawing of crows.
 
The snow falls,
and falls. 

Growing Up

There comes a time
When dolls,
Toy soldiers,
And stuffed animals
No longer move or tell stories-

When childhood’s days of
Squeezing a teddy bear
During a night thunderstorm
Almost to the point
Of suffocation, and

Journeys through unknown
Places never found
On a World map, and

Creating history
That won’t be found
In newspapers
Or seen on T.V.

Dissipate
With mother-sung lullabies
And fingerprints,
memories left behind.

Their only company
Is musty childhood and dust
In an old abandoned toy box.

The Long Way Back

We walk
The car-less blocks,
Hands deep in my pocket
Hide with the twelve dollar receipt,
Crumpled

Paper,
A memento
Of dinner, a kiss, and
Necessary little words said
Between

Tonight
Contentment
Is quiet, forgetting time,
Two butterfly-filled balloons
Floating

Lessons on Being Feminine

We now approach the end of February, and the end of Turner Syndrome Awareness Month (I was diagnosed with TS at four months old). TS is a chromosomal abnormality that occurs in 1 out of 2000 females when part of the X chromosome is either fully or partially deleted. It can cause short stature (growth hormone deficiency), heart complications, hearing loss, ovarian failure, learning disorders, among others. Because of infertility, and that 95% of those with TS don’t develop spontaneously (the have to take hormone replacement therapy for this to happen), most with TS have issues with not feeling feminine. Now I humbly offer this poem to those who read it. For more information on TS, visit http://turnersyndrome.org/learn-about-ts/what-ts.

 
It’s not
how curved my figure or breasts,
but how to carry the truths of my flesh,
clay of life
marked from surgical scars,
slightly  disproportionate,
the  beauty of a hair out of place from its ‘do.
 
It’s not 
when or how my transformation occurred 
from childhood dolls to womanhood bras,
but that fingerprints of an essence are within.
 
It’s not
about giving birth,
but the maternal instinct,
like the ocean waters,
what it means to be a 
coat to the coatless,
and a flashlight to those lost in the dark.
 
That is a woman,
feminine.