Sometimes I can almost see them
the children we did not have,
the possibilities I keep collecting
in catacombs of the wastebasket.
The ones we thought better of,
the glint of their eyes catching mine
in the bathroom mirror.
Sometimes I can almost hear
echoes of their laughter
when our son singsongs to himself,
calls Mommy look, look points to shadows I cannot see.
answers questions I do not ask.
Sometimes like, this afternoon,
I can almost feel them, their heavy absence.
Checking the backseat again
in phantom panic
afraid to leave behind
what I have not held.
Shannon Curtin is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of two collections of poetry, Motherland (Anchor and Plume Press), and File Cabinet Heart (ELJ Publications). Her writing has been featured in a variety of literary magazines including Mothers Always Write, The Muddy River Review, The Mom Egg Review, and The Elephant Journal. She holds an MBA, competitive shooting records, and her liquor. You can find her at www.ablogofherown.wordpress.com.