Gemma of My Imagination

Gemma of My Imagination

A Poetry Award Submission by Iris Arenson-Fuller

There are dull, field mouse colored days when the sun
is afraid to come out, wisely sensing
that our mood is not receptive to warmth.
We remain wrapped in new sheets of blue fleece
thoughts melting into puddles of the past,
unable to rouse ourselves, wading more deeply into
speculation as the morning begins to gallop away.

I see her then, blonde hair carelessly flying,
super-girl cape on her small back
like the cape her nearly-brother wore.
Veins on pale skin pointing the way to a heart
that beat briefly only in my imagination.
She exists in the space between new leaves
peeking into the world from a tree limb,
the too-quiet space where the sky pokes through
to gift us a narrow view, a small butterfly of blue.

It was my choice, never regretted, when I seized
the title to my own body, and declared no more babies
in a world already full of tiny open mouths
ready to latch onto a new breast when the old has dried up
Those first mothers sadly dissolved into life
unable to make space for one more,
the nest, sparsely feathered, not quite ready.

Long ago I stopped believing in biology as the glue
that pastes families together on photo album pages.
My family is a rich stew with many flavors blending
yet decades after our history was sealed by hearts,
by impressively scrawled judges’ signatures,
photos snapped in front of courtroom flags,
and child-friendly celebratory lunches happily eaten,
I sometimes have those soft, fleeting dreams of her,
that small pigtailed head, Gemma of my imagination.

-Iris J, Arenson-Fuller © all rights reserved

Iris Arenson Fuller is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in life and loss transformation and tough life changes, as well as adoption issues. She is a mom, (by adoption and birth) grandmother, poet, writer, former adoption agency director, former foster parent, and strong survivor. Iris was widowed in her 30's, adopted her fourth child as a single parent, and parented solo for about 15 yrs, then remarried. She can be found on the web at

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