Dream and Expectations

When I was told the results of the pregnancy test, I said, “I don’t want this baby.” Then, I thought of how I love life, so I kept it.

J., Belgium

* * * * *

Acceptance is not always immediate when a new life begins. The surprise irritates the ego, which revolts, then accepts. Fully accepts, because it is not the child that is unwanted, but, confusedly, the thought of upset in routine to come. Still, it seems to me that carrying a child is not to carry the future, but rather the present. The future takes hold of us after the separation, when we aren’t expecting it…

Anne, Ladysmith, Québec

* * * * *

We started you in Banff

cooking you up between sulphur springs,

wine and sliding skis

through diamond fields of snow.

And we skated in the shade of

Lake Louise’s glacier, balancing on thin steel

over the clear, crazed ice.

We made you with pleasure in the strength

and softness of our bodies, my tadpoles doing

the Canadian crawl

to your mother’s spore, the other half

of who you’d be.

You took root and held, your mother

sure from the start you’d stay.

She called me from a phone booth

to tell me she’d changed

into a song with accompaniment.

John, Toronto, Ontario

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