Five Years of Infertility, Ending With a Child

Emari DiGiorgio

         for Florence, whose name means to blossom

Some things grow better in the dark,

but most flowers will arch their spines

to whatever light they find. Off the path,

an hundred-year sycamore squats, trunk

itself, a flash of lightning or a woman

whose hips lie even with knees, torso lifted

toward sky. I’m not a tree. I’ve not covered

the distance to the moon yet and may not

in this one life. It took five years to plant

the seeds they sent to orbit the moon.

Five years, I clocked my body’s tidal forces,

but each month the blood came. I’d spent

my whole life up to that moment not wanting

a child and now this need was all I knew.

Once, in the middle South, I tried to find

the Lost Cove. The pressed clay looked

enough like flesh I understood from where

the old tales came. Every ropy vine in shadow’s

crack, a fool snake. In a second cave, I found

a vortex of stones balanced in what must’ve

been a basin hewn by settlers a century ago,

and beside it, a tub, shaped like an old pram.

If I’d found a child there I’d have taken her

home. In a story I read as a girl, a fishing

woman finds a merchild in a king crab shell

she’s hauled after the storm of all storms.

She’s righteous enough to consult village

elders, to seek out the sea goddess who fills

the night with her sorrow. Who would return

to me what I’d not yet found? Five years

after they left, the seeds that returned from

the moon were scattered across earth, have

grown full-size. They cast the same shade

and their seeds have become half-moon and

quarter-moon trees. Child, I’ve carried you

this whole life, just waiting for you to bloom.

about the author