Poem 4 – The Imagined Child
The imagined child can be a strong presence in the mind of those of us who are trying to conceive or who ever wanted a child. That imagined child can embody both its and our potential, our dreams of a family, our desire to have something of us present in the world or quite simply, to know the human being we might create. As with any dream, we nurture it and try to protect it from any risk that it might not come to fruition.
Involuntary childlessness represents both a narcissistic loss and an ambiguous loss (the loss of the longed-for child who is psychologically present but physically absent). Linda Hammer Burns, Frozen Dreams
Remember that cushion I bought for you in Boston?
I had no idea if you would like blue cotton with
white appliqué horses but that was the first time
I thought of you – as I queued to pay for your
gift – clutching it between my arm and my breast
as I rummaged for my purse – I did wonder if
I was jinxing things – if I should return it safely
to its shelf but the woman with the child ahead of me
left her place in line – I was next and in the second
I had to change my mind I placed your cushion
beside my thirty dollars and it was bought and bagged
before my jet-lagged brain could conceive
what I would do if you never arrived to claim it.