CHILDLESS

It was a cold day in January,

leaves rustling in the trees,

dried and crackly falling to the ground,

littering the sidewalks and curbs.

We walked along in silence,

hand in hand, both of us

wrapped up in our own thoughts;

I looked up at a gray slate of sky,

No sun to be seen and

it began to feel colder;

I pulled my hand away to button up

my jacked and reached into my pockets

to find woolen gloves–but now

I couldn’t feel the warmth of his hand;

Maybe it was just as well.

“Do you  think you will ever change your mind?”

I asked him, finally.

“No,” he replied firmly. “My childhood was grim

enough. I don’t want to take any genetic chances

bringing a child into this world…”

“I never imagined myself being childless forever”

I said with a catch in my throat–I didn’t want to cry

but I felt the tears welling up. “I was willing to wait

until we got on in the world, with our jobs, buying

a house–but–” Now I felt the tears rolling down

cold cheeks. “I don’t want to be childless forever–

I want to start a family now!”

He turned slightly towards me but made no move to

touch my hand. “So go ahead and do it” he said,

“Women are going to infertility facilities and

getting pregnant on their own–you read about it

all the time. But not my sperm and not with me..

I for one don’t mind being childless at all.”

With that he walked away towards his car at the

entrance to the park.  I was stunned by his remarks

–but for the first time I thought I CAN do this by

myself.  I don’t need a husband to have a baby.

I can do it by myself!

I wiped away the tears and found myself smiling.

Not for ME to remain childless!

 

Sandra Lee Smith

originally posted March 14, 2015

Updated July 24, 2018

 

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