Saturday, June 20, 2015

Waiting to Father

Here's a poem I wrote for Father's Day as a tribute to the men who struggle through infertility.

Waiting to Father

The basal body thermometer.
The syringe with needle.
The pack of pregnancy tests.

The artifacts that mark
A woman's journey through infertility.


The tasks that keep
A woman occupied, industrious.

Doing something matters.

But what of men?
They have one
Mission-critical contribution.

At the conclusion of their duty,
They can do no more
To ensure success.

Entrusting their fate
To doctors,
And their beloved.
They wait.

Wait to see their own eyes
Peering back at them
With infant newness.
The same eyes but also different,
Big and bright among the blanket folds.

Wait to resurrect favorite toys
From their childhood.
These playthings sit in boxes,
Wrapped in memories and hope
That their children will
Understand the magic.

Wait to tease away
The pain of lost games
And lost pets
And lost opportunities.

Wait to bandage scrubby, bloody knees
Scraped against concrete after a fall
In the heat of play,
Whispering words of comfort.

Wait to spin stories
Into the darkness of bedtime
Until droopy eyelids meet
In sleep.

These fathers-to-be also carry the weight.
They bear the wait.

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