mommy genes


these are not the skinny jeans
folded on top of the closet shelf
i think i am somehow going to wear again
& they’re not the mom jeans
roomy enough at the hips

no. these are the genes
that supposedly make little girls
want to play dolls, or house.

i played dolls with my sister.
her charlies angel doll was marrying grizzly adams
for the 20th time when I said to her
out of nowhere–do you want to get married

her of course made me snicker

not me, i’m just gonna have
lots of boyfriends

i never craved babies like chocolate.
i never sighed with that force of yearning.
the mommy gene never fit
but the love, the love happened
the second i saw her flickering there
on the ultrasound

the reason for the missed period
& the ensuing chaos of choice
somersaulting on the screen

i may have never wanted children
theoretically, but her,
her dancing there, an inch under my navel
& innocent of location–
her i wanted

mommy genes were never tangled
in my DNA.  the mom thing
was not born with me

but chosen

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30 thoughts on “mommy genes

  1. I see myself in this poem Susan. I thought I had a favorite poem from your amazing collection…but this has got to be in my top 3… I get it…I understand it. I live it. I applaud you on this Susan.

  2. jeans to genes. to jeans. i enjoyed this Susan! I loved being pregnant, all three times, I loved birthing, I love parenting. I am beginning to love jeans as the air gets cooler. thank you for this write. It has taken me to the past and back again.

  3. and now she holds a camera and tries to capture a tree trunk surrounded by a blue sky and draped in green leaves, her feet washed by the gentle murmurs of a flowing brook! Good choice!

  4. Rhonda

    The exact feeling. I was not mommy programmed either…but would not trade one single second of my life since. awesome sfam.

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