missing crib

September 12, 2010

on dec 7, 2007
surgeons took a knife
to my womb
made an incision
that ran across my abdomen
and removed the crib right outta’ me.
said something about a cancer-like
disease was turning my own body against me.

and just like that…
the crib was gone.
and with it,
two children.
i had plans for my womb:

two kids.
a girl and a boy.
clara elis.
diego rafael.
strong latino names.

i imagined everything:
from the pregnancy,
to the birth,
to college graduation.

clara elis.
my little girl.
slept soundly.
we curled up
on the couch
watching Yankees
games on mute.

diego rafael.
was strong
on his way out.
came out screaming-
yelling at the world.
but so gentle growing up.

they spoke in their grandparents language.
knew their history and their herstory.
diego had the sweetness of my father.
clara carried the strength of my mother.
christmas was always perfect.
the three-kings
brought them gifts.
i was their first kiss on new-years-day.
their first hug on valentines.

and their mother’s day cards…
those were my favorite.
(i kept all of them).

i washed their clothes
in the gentle cycle.
was amazed
that they grew
so fast.
two shoe sizes
in three-months.

i helped them with their homework.
cleaned their room and tied their shoes.

(we played hide-and-seek every day).

their smiling faces
hanging on picture frames
all over the house.
they called grandma
every night.

i went to those pta meetings.
talked to clara’s teacher about her chattiness.
in her defense would say,
“she’s just so excited about life.”
i heard nothing but good things about diego.

i cried with them.
when they scraped their knees.
when they fell off the monkey bars.
when they lost their first tooth…
when they lost their first love.

i watched them grow.
the teenage years
were so much fun.
i went to every single
game, recital, practice…
and they were
never embarrassed to kiss me
hello and good-bye.

college applications
filled our kitchen table.
i visited them abroad.
celebrated their successes.

and seven-hours later
i woke up from the surgery.

took my hands
to my abdomen
felt the gauze pad
and gently rubbed
my stomach…

i talked to both them
and said,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t have you sooner.

I’m sorry I was so selfish when I was younger, I thought that waiting might have helped me provide a better life for you both.

I’m sorry we never had the chance to meet, to play… to laugh.

I’m sorry that I won’t make it to your game,
that we can’t play hide-and-seek… that the frames have no pictures.

I’m sorry that I’m left with a memory that never took place.

But what I’m most sorry for… is that I never got to hold you in my arms.

and all I can do now… is give birth to words.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2010 ©

Writer’s Note: Adapted from my monologue “piece of my self.”

2 Responses to “missing crib”

  1. Carmen Says:

    OMG! Suga!! I have no other words… except for more than you know you have a mothers’ heart!

  2. tammy Says:

    this broke my heart. your words have me wiping away tears… and now i can’t wait to get home and hold my children.
    wow. you are incredibly talented!

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