by Judith Arcana.
You think I didn’t care about that baby,
didn’t wonder if we’d like each other
when she turned fourteen;
didn’t think he’d follow anywhere
his older brother went.
You think we take them out, like gangsters;
disappear them, like generals.
You don’t know how
it works then, do you?
You don’t know what
sits on both sides of the scale,
what it means to decide:
what I got and what I gave,
gave that baby I didn’t have,
baby who couldn’t make me laugh –
applesauce upside down on her head;
couldn’t make me cry –
taking his first step right off the porch.
You don’t even know that this is not about regret.
You don’t know one bléssed, I say bléssed, thing about it.