From the beginning, I have not been
Your glistening seed bead begun
In the coves of my body—
Turned out. That small plum
Split from its branch,
Tumbled to rot in the mud.
Nothing to do but cramp
And revere you.
In honor of your premature birth,
I weep for you: Baby,
You are the first dead thing I loved.
That hint of you unbound my love.
I couldn't grieve still.
I would rise at every strange cry,
Stir to make love every night
On the chance some action could
Usher you home. As if you weren't
dead, only lost.
In the mirror, no matter what hats
What acts, I tried,
I was still that un-mother. The one
Who could not lure you back.
Days into weeks into months, I yearn
To give up, but cannot
restrain the landslide
Of my want. At the force
of my grief, everything else
At this loss, no hands reach
To hold what's left up.
Faith is the first thing to leave me,
The last to come back. I collapse
Into prayers, into words.
Curse God to beg Him again:
I will be a good mother, if only You
Will it. Give me back that life.
Let me call it whole
With my pregnant words:
* in Spanish, rooted in the Arabic Insha'Allah! – "if God wills it," a word to express the strong desire for something to come to pass.
Violeta Garcia-Mendoza is a Spanish-American poet, writer, and teacher. Her pieces have appeared in Literary Mama, Tattoo Highway, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Cicaca, and Soleado. She writes Bluestocking columns and Bookshelf recommendations on her website, Turn People Purple, and about food, family, and the writing life at the blog Feed Your Loves.