Dreaming Of Motherhood

I dreamed I was about to give birth,
But I wasn’t ready.
My pregnant belly was small and shriveled,
Like a deflated balloon.
I had read no child-rearing books,
Bought no cradles
Gotten no maternal advice,
Suffered no epiphanies.
As my husband and I made our way to shul,
Where I would begin labour,
The doctor’s letter arrived –
One month late.
It said: there is no baby.
It’s all a mistake.

I felt no need to mourn
What never was
But still,
The mirage of my husband’s eyes
Peering from our baby
Haunted my thoughts.

And the fear that I
Estranged daughter
Carry close to my heart
That I will follow in the footsteps
Of the parents that forsook me:
It lingers,
But never buries the dream
Of motherhood.

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The fear that I will scar my child
With the demand that its existence
Sooth my own
It cannot bury still,
The dream of motherhood

The fear that the others are right,
And in my DNA runs the long rein
Of mental illness
Of anger
Of vengeance
Of abuse,
It cannot bury yet,
The dream of motherhood.

And though
The family table
Is silent
With the emptiness
Of those who have never made amends
After the decades of yearning;
And now own seat
So too lies empty,
Still this family curse
Cannot bury
The dream of motherhood.