prompt 14, hour 11 ~ Dear Britton

Dear Britton, who is trying to have children ~

They will come. I promise.
Two gloriously rowdy sons, unlike the daughters
you expected. Nothing like the sisters you grew
up with. You will learn that feminism contends
with biology. Neither will play with the dolls
you buy them, and they will create guns
despite your reluctance. They will also learn
to cook, and discover that men can discuss feelings.

It will be hard. All your choices from the first
birth will spin around them like the moon
orbits the earth, the earth her sun. They
will be your center, even before their father.
Where you live, how you live, making a living in general…
all of this dependent on two small boys, their eyes
so much like all who came before them. You will trace
your roots upon their small bodies as they grow.

It will get harder. They will test you beyond
imagining. Death & danger stalk each separately,
the heavy weight of empty futures your recurring nightmare.
Nothing will ever be the same. Not your body, not your life,
not the love of your life. Certainly not all you know & learn.
Somewhere along the way, they will cease to be
sons. They will become friends, confidantes, tellers
of their own tales. Their travels, their own children,
will become blocks & stitches in whatever life quilt
you piece. And through it all, you will remember:
This is what you wanted. This is what you are.
It is more than enough.

4 thoughts on “prompt 14, hour 11 ~ Dear Britton

  1. This is beautiful. Hard won, but deeply moving. Well structured. You’ve captured a little of the beauty & the pain of life. How we don’t always get what we want … but often something more. Writing poetry direct to ourselves often touches something deep.

    My first “serious” relationship my partner & I had three miscarriages in 3.5 years. My go to was to write about that (but I’ve written so many poems about that) so I only did it indirectly. Since that relationship, I’ve never had children. Reading a poem like this pokes the ache a little, but also fills the hole too. Thank you.

  2. Wow, Gareth ~ this is the best (& most moving feedback) I may have ever received. We too had miscarriages, and I find myself telling people I have 2 living children… The ache never really goes away, does it?
    Thank you.

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