hour 11: motherhood

My friend tells me that she fears
bringing a child into this world
because of what the parasite might do
to her body.

Another laments
the financial burden it would entail
to invest into his offspring,
to feed,

But me—
I fear that I cannot live up
to the responsibility of guiding a human life
through to adulthood.
If I learned anything from my mother, it is that
motherhood comes with great sacrifices.

Will I be able to sell them the world
the way my mother sold dilapidated homes
to men with deep pockets,
guiding their eyes away from scratched hardwood
to the seventh layer of new paint
in order to put grains in my stomach?
Even if I do as she did,
and use my own body to shield my children from the world,
will they be recovering from their childhood
in this monstrous world?

Inspired by “I AM ACCUSED OF TENDING TO THE PAST” by Lucille Clifton and “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith.

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