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by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

She feels no urge to have a baby–
that tug and pull which kept me distracted for years,
brought tears when I saw other mothers with their offspring,
their progeny, being pushed in prams,
or strollers through green parks
and flowered gardens in foreign cities.
Pushed by young nannies on wooden plank swings.
She feels no reason to pack trunks full
with baby dresses, bonnets and bibs
to be tucked away in the dark recesses
of the half-basement beneath
her California bungalow,
awaiting that blessed day
when she can play dress-up with that tiny creature,
an actual baby instead of a cloth and plastic doll,
a flesh and blood baby which is a part of her–a part of him,
that man who makes her heart sing like no other could.
She has not felt (the way I did) a child gathering itself to be born;
cannot picture herself with a daughter at her breast
as yellow sunlight slants its way into the darkened room.
Has no wish to feel its gentle sleeping breath upon her own skin
Does not long to hear the fractured words,
skipped syllables, the lisp of phrases…
the name that is her own
from the soft lips of a child
which bears my DNA.
Has no urge to give birth to my grandchild
who will also be a part of him
who made me sing as no other could.


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