A Poem for “Choice”

I came across this poem in time for “Blogs for Choice Day” today:


by Pat Schneider

The child you think you don’t want

is the one who will make you laugh.

She will break your heart

when she loses the sight in one eye

and tells the doctor she wants to be

an apple tree when she grows up.

It will be this child who forgives you

again and again

for believing you don’t want her to be born,

for resisting the rising tide of your body,

for wishing for the red flow of her dismissal.

She will even forgive you for all the breakfasts

you failed to make exceptional.

Someday this child will sit beside you.

When you are old and too tired of war

to want to watch the evening news,

she will tell you stories

like the one about her teenaged brother,

your son, and his friends

taking her out in a canoe when she was

five years old. How they left her alone

on an island in the river

while they jumped off the railroad bridge.

“Middle-Age” by Pat Schneider, from Another River: New and Selected Poems. © Amherst Writers and Artists Press, 2005.

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