For my mother in law, at the holidays

My womb is not barren, to spite you.
However, it is a perk, of which there are so few,
in being your childless daughter in law.

Though, I cannot deny the satisfaction

with which I stunt
your yearning to spread your DNA,
no matter how diluted,
that bloodline would run,
before it dropped from my uterus,

and into your greedy hands.

My womb does not sit empty, as an
affront to your delusions. Your desires.
Your need for the children,

you can no longer bear, yourself.

It is not me, that brings that cross to
every holiday meal, upon which you climb,
and stare sadly across the dinner table,

at my vacant womb. As if each day that I let pass
without a fertilized egg, was just another nail

hammered through your palm.

I did not choose you,
anymore than you chose me.

Nor did I choose the path of the daughter in law,
that came before me,
carved from deception,
a pavement laid in lies, abandoned at your son’s feet,

with a child he was no willing participant in creating.

Perhaps, if I had, I would have been welcomed,
into your family, over my nearly twenty years
of marriage?

Would I have at least once, been sent
a goddamned birthday card?

No, my womb is not barren, to spite you.

Spite, would have been to intentionally fill that womb,
mix together a petri dish of cells, that
would incubate into your grandchild, the future
of your precious lineage, your perfect family,

and abort it.



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