Sometimes, I feel so sure that we are close to having children. The hope is so strong that it almost feels like reality. Some days, when I am alone in the home, I am so sure that my children will soon arrive that I imagine I’m just playing a game of hide and seek with them. After years of infertility, that game of hide and seek has stretched and I admit that sometimes desperation clings to me like sweat. But even with that desperation, I won’t give up. My children are waiting to be found. And I will find them.
Hide and Seek
There’s that rustle of fingertips on my shoulder again,
a breath of childish air through the silk of my blouse
and footsteps on the carpet.
Hide and Seek again, is it?
I never catch even the slightest hint of your dress
as you slip through the door,
though I turn so fast,
that the world stops spinning just after I do,
and I stumble after you,
You’re not in the closet.
You never are,
but I still always check there first,
pulling out the blankets and board games,
covering myself in the dust that’s built since our last game.
I try the kitchen cupboard,
pushing past the casserole dishes,
and pie tins, moving everything,
because you might even be squeezed in
With the spices.
The house smells like
dust and cumin
and I still can’t find you,
so I open up the windows
to let in more light,
so you can’t even hide in a shadow.
You’re not behind the curtains.
You’re not beside the bookshelves.
You’re not curled beneath rumpled covers.
You’re not hiding in the shower.
Of all the times we’ve played hide and seek,
I’ve never found you yet.
You always leave me crying by the sink.
But you always come back, too.
I look up into the mirror,
trying to guess what you look like,
so that I will know you when I find you.
And I will find you.
Whether you are up in the attic,
or tucked behind a door,
or hiding behind the coming years,
or maybe even secreted in some other country.
I will find you.
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