While there are no babies, I carry on. I am testament to the problem

of the baby. Look at me—flaunting my own survival. Who am I?

—Excerpt, “Apology” by Ruby Robinson, Poetry, December 2015


3 thoughts on “Childlessness

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  2. The man to your side turns suddenly as you are walking past, traveling from no specific point of embarkation to no intended destination, and calls out your name, quite brusquely even though you are only a few yards away. You stop and turn toward the man with some expectation and catch his eye, but he looks at you strangely, calm and yet intent upon his object, such that you cannot fathom his purpose in fixing you before him. It is but another moment which informs you that the man has no cause to be in the possession of your name, but this unaccountable knowledge, coupled with his divine manner, causes you to wait as he looks past you. When he glances back you can feel that a wrath has come into his eye. As you begin to stammer, however, he turns and hurries away.

    When you look round you see a few people loitering by a storefront, and a few more walking by in either direction, in conversation, or something like contemplation, and all very much unconcerned with the event, the calling out of your own name. They should be concerned, however, for the plaza has changed. The air is brighter and feels heavier, the fluttering of leaves has slowed despite a rise in the wind, and everything has come under a hush although you can hear a loquacious woman on the far side talking about the lottery, and the ripping of cardboard from the ally behind the shops.

    Do you feel it too, but no one has stopped to ask, and, indeed, the sensation for you as well has begun to wear off. As you turn to continue your walk a man passes by and gives you a nod . . .

    You walk over, at last, and take a seat on a bench, but still the hours pass and there has been no sighting of you . . .

    detected by rovesciato

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