Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
This Is The Son

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for Jacob Ray Bunting

We collect approving glances like party favors:
my two daughters skip ahead, and in the stroller
grins the boy I was always urged to try for, the son
an address book of friends and the odd rude stranger
told my husband he really wanted.

My seven-year-old directs his play the way
she bosses the hamster through mazes;
my five-year-old oversees diaper changes, hugs him
like her favorite bear. I've heard younger brothers of sisters
grow up a little spoiled, with a deep love for women.

I imagine my husband, who has so easily abandoned
a house crowded with females and dolls.
He will dabble in childcare: football, baseball,
boys' birthday parties. There will be a catch
in his voice, a central desk photo of his son.

But this is not our son; this is the third child
I didn't want enough, the need I smothered,
the final cord I refused to wind round
my right wrist, my writing hand.
This is the son I am always giving back.


Anna Evans is raising two daughters, now aged 10 and 8. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Harvard Review, Atlanta Review, Rattle, and Measure. She is the editor of the Barefoot Muse and gained her MFA from Bennington College. Her chapbook “Swimming” is available from Maverick Duck Press.


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