Thursday, 23 January 2014

Flesh and Blood

The Woman with the Raven at the Abyss
I must have my own flesh and blood. Those were the first words you spoke to me as the ravens outside croaked why, why, why?
Why? I repeated.
Because isn't it what most people want? To see themselves reflected? To create and give birth to another member of the human race?
What if, like you, it's the one thing they can't do, shouldn't they accept it? 
No, it's not my fault I've been born without a womb - it's my right to have a child!
Is it? Even if it means exploiting somebody else and giving them your pain?
These women want to help women like me who are unable to conceive or carry a child naturally.
Do they really? Do women who live in deep poverty really want to give up their wombs for you?
I don't know! But they do. You wring your hands and your eyes start to well. I offer you a tissue.
I will do anything to have a child!
In which case, have you explored all other options? Fostering? Or adoption?
It's not the same. The child won't be a part of me. Mothering somebody else's is never the same.
If you have love to give, why not?
You sit in silence.
Mmm. I think we should leave it there. Same time next week.
You get up and walk forlornly to the door, your eyes seeking mine for approval. I purposely avert my gaze and busy myself with your file.
Was I too tough? Should I have pushed you more? Lenore, Lenore, Lenore. You, who keeps turning up at my office door. A woman standing at the edge of an abyss, unsure of her childless future. Wanting a child and not being able to have one. Denying love to any child except your own and prepared to go to any lengths to have one.
Buy, buy, buy, the ravens croak outside.
Buy an ovary. Rent a womb. Transplant them. 
How can I see your side when I've accepted? Accepted that biologically it's not meant to be, but if I could naturally I'd dread it.
Why don't I feel the same raw urge? The itch to mother?
Each month, you're distraught by a ghost, a whisper of what could be. Where you experience loss, I feel free.
I want to be sympathetic to your cause, but I can't. Emotionally, I can't understand it. Surely mothering is more than just a collection of genes?
Yet the ravens speak of how you will fall into madness if I don't try to listen. And of how you will lose your life to it.
Nevermore will Lenore turn up at my door, but she will send her ravens.