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Child, F. (2015). Countertransference. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 9(1):55-56.

(2015). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 9(1):55-56


Freda Child

She flip-flops in—another bright summer

after wind-ruffled spring and fur-booted winter—

ready at last to ask.

They always ask, knowing they shouldn't.

Sooner or later.

I steeple my fingers and give her the answer

she already knows. Her response,

“I just wondered,” convinces no one.

The question still lingers,

familiar as perfume one can't quite recall.

While under it all lurks the primal desire.

But I do not trade secrets.

Did she glimpse those old photos by a half-open door?

They are not my daughters.

The camera has frozen a moment in time

when my hair, like hers, was kissed by the sun;

when I found my lover, my soulmate, my other;

while with eyes closed like limpets

she searches for her special one.

I know why she asks me to break the taboo.

For I, too, have a need that I long to share.

To conjure her, swirled in white satin and flowers;

Be beside her to hold her

when the tears cascade down.

To be the mother who vanished too early

whom she's come to seek.

These things are unsaid.

I will not weaken.

My tears are unshed.

For that is how things work.

She sits on the couch;

I on my chair, slightly higher.

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