The dreams I had as a  young bride, in 1958,

were simple ones;

I wanted an apartment of our own,

Not two rooms downstairs from my husband’s mother;

And, I wanted to have a baby…

Why the latter was so important just then,

I can’t say except that

all of my girlfriends were getting married

and having babies.

The first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage,

and I learned a cold, hard lesson

while laying on a hospital bed,

When I begged my husband to come to the hospital

he refused, saying

He had to get up early to go to work

in the morning.

I cried, then, for my mother,

but would not call her to come.

A nurse sat by the bed

and held my hand

until I fell asleep.

Soon, I was pregnant again,

and in 1960, my son Michael was born

and I learned another cold hard lesson;

My husband’s mother and sister

took control of the baby.

He was never to be my baby.

I returned to work when Michael was

three months old,

leaving him to the care of his father,

grandmother, and aunt.

I think many of my dreams

were shattered in those first

two years of marriage.

Why, then, persevere?

When Michael was a y ear old,

We drove to California

And my dream, then, was

that my husband would grow up–

and perhaps to some degree, he did,

but his mother came to spend months

with us and

in 1962 I had another miscarriage.

Truthfully, I didn’t feel sorry for myself.

Not then, not now. They were just dreams

and oftentimes, dreams don’t come true

or dreams are shattered.

I may have learned it isn’t wise

to dream too much,

or have any great expectations.


Sandra Lee Smith

written January 2010



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