Friday, September 26, 2014

Like Snowflakes (poem)

In front of television, she does a crossword,
I read Updike. My mother says, “I had the craziest
thought today.” Her once-dark eyes
are tea-colored fish swimming behind bifocals.

“What?” I lower my chin, so as to see
over my own glasses, unused to daily
chat after years of solitude--but I love her
little face, her tiny hands, the child I never had.

“Well, what if I had you ten years later than I did?
What if there had been no war, your father hadn’t died,
and we had waited -- would that baby still be you?”
Her eyebrows knot, deep in thought.

“You’re 63 years old. If I had waited, you'd be 53,
more years ahead of you. Perhaps another husband…”
I burst out laughing. “Mama, it wouldn’t have been me.
Each egg, each sperm is different. Like snowflakes.”

“Good,” she says. Satisfied.

“I‘d only want a child if it was you.”

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