Poem – The Planned Child

This is not one of mine. I found it in a booked called Journey Into Motherhood, by Leslie Kirk Campbell, and it struck me. Thought I’d share.

The Planned Child, by Sharon Olds

I always hated the way she planned me, she
took the cardboards out of his shirts as if
pulling the backbone up out of his body and
made a chart of the month and put her
temperature on it, rising and falling, to
know the day to make me – I always
wanted to have been conceived in heat,
in haste, by mistake, in love, in sex,
not on cardboard, the little X on the
rising line that did not fall again.

But then you were pouring the wine red as the
gritty clay of this earth, or the blood, 
grainy with tiny clots, that rides us 
into this life, and you said you could tell I had
been child who was wanted. I took the
wine into my mouth like my mother’s blood, as I had
ridden down toward the light with my lips
pressed against the side of that valve in her body, she was
bearing down and then breathing in the mask and then
bearing me down, pressing me out into the
world that was not enough for her without me in it,
not the moon, the stars, Orion
cartwheeling easily across the dark, not the
earth, the sea, none of it was
enough for her, without me.

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