Dear Craig:

I know you’ll frown at Wednesday’s post, what with your patience being what it is, your being able to see the good in everything (in this case, how the waiting equals fun baby-making). Or perhaps it’s just, being the husband that you are (which is a perfect one), you’ve mastered how to say just the thing that will console me. But you know how I am with wanting: what I want, I want immediately, so Wednesday’s waste of time post was mostly just a moment of self-pity, of petulance. After all, I know that there is love. That people wait much longer for it (and for a baby) than we ever had to (or hope to).

I wanted to see our loss, our planning, the way you did, which is why this morning I go crazy looking through our stacks for a book of Sharon Olds poems. And they are all here at home except the one I need, The Wellspring. I know which poem I am looking for and I am mad it isn’t in its place. This is why I like to keep the poetry at home rather than the office. I know I’ll be in desperate need of some at one point or another.

The wellspring today becomes the Internet, where I finally find “The Planned Child,” a poem I read in graduate school that always stayed with me, it seems prophetically, and that speaks for the baby that will come: soon enough, soon enough:

“I hated the fact that they had planned me, she had taken
a cardboard out of his shirt from the laundry
as if sliding the backbone up out of his body,
and made a chart of the month and put
her temperature on it, rising and falling,
to know the day to make me – I would have
liked to have been conceived in heat,
in haste, by mistake, in love, in sex,
not on cardboard, the little x on the
rising line that did not fall again.

But when a friend was pouring wine
and said that I seem to have been a child who had been wanted,
I took the wine against my lips
as if my mouth were moving along
that valved wall in my mother’s body, she was
bearing down, and then breathing from the mask, and then
bearing down, pressing me out into
the world that was not enough for her without me in it,
not the moon, the sun, Orion
cartwheeling across the dark, not
the earth, the sea – none of it
was enough, for her, without me.”

Forever and ever,


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