It’s over two years since I suffered the horrors of miscarriage, made all the more unbearable by the fact that it was our second IVF, our first ray of hope, slowly, horribly dashed. I came across this poem the other day and thought how apt it was for how I felt, and still feel to this day, about the pain of losing a precious, much longed for baby we would never know. I sure this German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, wasn’t thinking about miscarriage when he wrote it, but thank you anyway Herr Rilke. It fits. I hope it may help soothe someone else’s wound too.
You Who Never Arrived.
You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don’t even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of
the next moment. All the immense
images in me — the far-off, deeply-felt
landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and
unsuspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods–
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.
You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house– , and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me.
Streets that I chanced upon,–
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and,
startled, gave back my too-sudden image.
Who knows? Perhaps the same
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening…