You will never neglect or beat them

Gwendolyn Brooks

 

Here is a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks that stirs up strong feelings and controversy:

The Mother

 

Abortions will not let you forget.

You remember the children you got that you did not get,

The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,

The singers and workers that never handled the air.

You will never neglect or beat

Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.

You will never wind up the sucking-thumb

Or scuttle off ghosts that come.

You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,

Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.

 

I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children.

I have contracted. I have eased

My dim dears at the breasts they could never suck.

I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized

Your luck

And your lives from your unfinished reach,

If I stole your births and your names,

Your straight baby tears and your games,

Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches, and your deaths,

If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,

Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate.

Though why should I whine,

Whine that the crime was other than mine?—

Since anyhow you are dead.

Or rather, or instead,

You were never made.

But that too, I am afraid,

Is faulty: oh, what shall I say, how is the truth to be said?

You were born, you had body, you died.

It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried.

 

Believe me, I loved you all.

Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you

All.

 

Gwendolyn Brooks, “the mother” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1963 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Reprinted with the permission of the Estate of Gwendolyn Brooks.

 

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<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/controversy/”>Controversy</a&gt;

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One thought on “You will never neglect or beat them

  1. This is insanely beautiful. I firmly believe it is salvation for the children who Would have been beaten and neglected to pass over, instead, before they are forced to live a life worse than death, but you so rarely hear the mother say these things. Powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

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