Wednesday, April 14, 2010

8/30: To The Girl Who Urged My Niece to Have a Fourth Baby to "Make It Even"

To The Girl Who Urged My Niece to Have a Fourth Baby to "Make It Even"

Until nine months ago
You didn't know
You had a uterus
Or that people could
Grow there
When you first learned
That your homecoming date
Had planted an actual
human being between
your legs, you threw up
in the kitchen sink
And lit yourself another cigarette
You called your friends on the phone
And together, you all
went to the mall to buy
the tiniest pair of Jordans
That you could find
On some days
You stared at the wall
And didn't talk
Terrified and amazed
At finally realizing
Your life long dream
Of owning a living doll
You are still young
But that is no reason
To be so stupid

Sleeping infant in crook of arm
Freshly harvested from your body
Cesarean incision marking a boundary
Below which boys should not
Be allowed for a good long while

You need to sit down
Go somewhere and learn
To be quiet
Pay attention
Only to the needs of your child
Not other people's business
Your advice is useless

Children are not
interchangeable, individual
accessories to be paired into sets
They are not home furnishings
Salt and pepper shakers
Book ends
Something you once borrowed
From a friend and forgot to give back
Discarded, damaged
Property
Your body is not a factory
Do not confuse your birth canal
With a conveyor belt
No good can come
From that sort of reasoning

It would not be
The least bit surprising to me
If you tilted your head to one side
Or the other,
And an avalanche
Of dumb ideas came
Tumbling out of your ear

4 comments:

  1. I like this very much. I am revolted by people - even older ones who should know better - who have babies apparently as an accessory to the life they are living and do not plan to change at all - just add the name "Mother" (or "Father") to drop into conversations and get someone to babysit the rest of the time. I liked the flow of the poem - and I think you nailed it. It is amazing how many people seem to feel that having a baby makes them interesting. Silk purse/Sow's ear.

    ReplyDelete