Friday, June 28, 2013

To My Unborn Children

I feel you -
little snakes in my belly.
Not always,
but enough
that I gather my guts
between rough hands
and reason:

The nights are too long;
my days are too few;
my needs are too many.
But the truth

is I was afraid
of having a favorite.

For Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads

24 comments:

Fireblossom said...

People really do have favorites of all kinds of things, and some people make no bones about having a Favorite. Thanks for digging deep and writing this for my challenge, Kelli.

Lolamouse said...

We're a one child couple as well, and one of the reasons is perfectly expressed in your poem.

Susan said...

I cried reading this, for my own losses, I think. First, I wasted sperm and then I forgot. Sounds absurd now--as absurd as fear of favorites! I am uncertain whether the mockery I detect under the plight of the narrator is real or imagined. Loss is loss. Thanks for the tears.

hedgewitch said...

You're the one who wrote the killer last stanza this time, MZ--all true, all loss. But I think sometimes, having them and losing them is worse than never having them to lose. One of those thing you can never know.

Isadora Gruye said...

what I like best about your work is the total brutal elegance you bring to every concept. This is not different, tender and exacting. Way to go! and viva la

Truedessa said...

Always enjoy the way you write..the last two lines were raw..

Fireblossom said...

I love Isadora's comment. "total brutal elegance".

Mary said...

So heartfelt, Mama Zen.

Alice Audrey said...

Just pick a favorite for a different thing at a different time. They don't mind that, as long as they each get a turn.

grapeling said...

When my older son was nearly two, his brother came to stay, and I recall the first two days wondering, how will I ever love this interloper as much as his brother?

Then my heart opened up and I learned all about new math and non-euclidean geometry and space-time curvature and unbounded space and it turns out, I had enough love for both - I just didn't know it until it arrived.

And there is still plenty for their elder sister...

Helen said...

Your poem is perfection ... honest, yes (brutally) candid.

Mine are all so incredibly different, little risk of having a favorite .. I relish experiencing the flavor of the day!!

kaykuala said...

A mother has to make choices. But when it comes to siblings within the family it hurts more if one is unfair to one party and favor the other. One child family on the other hand misses all the fun! Great thoughts MZ!

Hank

Brian Miller said...

those last couple lines are so evocative...i am glad my mother decided to give it another go after losing my brother...

J Cosmo Newbery said...

That last line is a very potent one!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

You always totally nail it, with your honesty and strength. I tip my hat to you, Mama Zen, for always ALWAYS going to the heart of the matter and saying it plainly and, as Izy says, with elegance. Bravo.

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh.
Wow.

Robyn Greenhouse said...

We have to listen to our own heart and find what is best for ourselves.

Lorraine said...

oh how well you put this...circumstances often make it a one child life, those were my circumstances, but to be truthful I can't imagine ever ever loving another child as much as my first and only born son

Hannah said...

I just had this discussion with a friend of mine last night...wow...such a valid reason, really and yet the ache to hold another as one's own...that hurts too. I've been right in the middle of the back and forth battle...I think I've almost 100% decided that babies being super cute is really not a good enough reason to have another. The part, "my needs are too great," really resonated with me...physically, mentally, socially having more can drain a person. I apologize for going on...this one's very real to me and your voice is so you...I love it, Mama Zen. ♥

Other Mary said...

We all have our reasons don't we. But the reason doesn't really matter to the loss...it haunts us regardless. You really made me stop and think. This one is a hard, honest gem.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Though it is not my usual approach to poetry commentary, I'm going to share instead of tell you how brilliantly affecting this poem of a mother's loss is.

As close as the day before my second daughter was born, I was deeply worried that I would not be able to love her as much as I loved my first, that she would always be second best. The day after she was born, I felt the shift of love space within me, as a physical thing: my abundance doubled. Today each is the best of the best of themselves to me.

Marian said...

so truthy, definitely real for many of us, MZ. xo

Ella said...

I love the raw honesty and how you always bring it out in all of your poems! :D

LaTonya Baldwin said...

I agree, 'brutal elegance' is apt. I want tenderness, ache and honesty when I read. You manage it all deftly.