Ghost in the House
Come, child. It’s evening. Come to me
And sit with me once more.
Let’s rock here while the others sleep.
Let’s see – your sister’s four;
The baby is three months today;
Your little brother’s two,
And I have not decided if I’ll tell them
And you, you would be eight this year.
I do not know your name.
The color of your eyes, or hair,
Or where, or how, to blame.
The fear was all, the fear of change,
For I saw change as loss.
Against my dreams, my plans, my life
You seemed so small a cost,
Not knowing how your presence
Altered how I felt and thought,
Not knowing how you changed me
In the mix the hormones brought.
And you were not a child to me
But sickness, pain, and fear –
But oh, I know, I know you now,
Now that these three are here!
Your scent, your weight within my arms,
Your head upon my breast-
I did not know these things when I decided
what was best.
And I am lost and so confused
And don’t know how to feel,
For you, who were an illness,
Every year become more real;
Your sister and your brothers,
They proclaim you as they grow.
They make it harder still to face
The coldest truth I know:
That knowing – feeling – only
What I knew and felt back then,
I cannot say I would not make
This saddest choice again.
Oh! My little lost unknown,
My first and neverborn,
Forgive the ignorance that sent you
To the dark, unmourned!
And no, it isn’t every day
I find your shadow here;
Most times I’m far too busy
For reflection or for tears,
But sometimes, when the children sleep
And I have time alone,
I sit down in the dark, and rock,
And bring my baby home.
© 2000 Amanda Lewanski
Reprinted with permission from Rachel’s Vineyard
For more information about Rachel’s Vineyard, please contact:
P.O. Box 195
Bridgeport, PA 19405