Someday we are going to have
two point five children.
This is how they’ll be: myopic Caucasians
with updraft hearts and thistle carpets for hair,
curious challengers to the world at large
who will know the truth
about where half their chromosomes came from:
sitting in a lab with an issue of XY, Kleenex, and
a paper cup.

They will have a succession of stepfathers
and an uncle who is closer than the others
who pays child support.
They will know the story of your disconsolate womb,
and how I pressed warm washcloths on that
meadowed belly, pair of us holding hands
watching chick flicks under a lavender afghan,
talking about these future offspring over ice cream,
far-flung and foolish hopes of children
until the day we were serious.

On the unimportant holidays, maybe I’ll arrive
with belated birthday gifts in hand,
tousle a few heads. When they’ve gone to bed,
we’ll sit with lacrymatory mugfuls of spirits,
uncertainly thankful for
the shapes we take.

© Joseph Harker

Advertisements