A POEM FOR WOMEN WHO DON’T WANT CHILDREN
By Chanel Brenner
I won’t preach about the rewards of motherhood.
I won’t say it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
I won’t say it’s the best job I’ve ever had.
I won’t say you’ll regret not having a child.
I won’t say you’ll forget what life was like before.
I won’t say it makes life worth living.
What I will say
is my son died.
What I will say
is I would still do it again.
Today’s poem was originally published in Rattle and appears here today with permission from the poet. Hear the poet read today’s poem aloud via Rattle.
Chanel Brenner is the author of Vanilla Milk: a memoir told in poems, (Silver Birch Press, 2014). Her poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Rattle, Cultural Weekly, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Anderbo, West Trestle Review, and others. Her poem, “July 28th, 2012” won first prize in The Write Place At the Write Time’s contest, judged by Ellen Bass. In 2014, she was nominated for a Best of the Net award and a Pushcart Prize.
Editor’s Note: I won’t say it’s because I first read today’s poem while pregnant. I won’t say it’s because three weeks ago I became a mother for the first time. I won’t say it’s because I did not want children myself. I will say that my son is an amazing human being and that I am honored to be in his service. I will say that today’s incredibly moving, incredibly brave poem breaks my heart each and every time I read it.
Want to read more from Chanel Brenner?
Chanel Brenner’s Official Website
Deep Water Literary Journal
Women’s Voices for Change
Silver Birch Press
Buy Vanilla Milk on Amazon
One thought on “SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: CHANEL BRENNER”
i will say that it breaks my heart, just like the knowing i knew each time my grandmother talked of her once and only son