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. Β the mom thing
was not born with me

but chosen

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to mommy genes

  1. jmgoyder says:

    You should get published (sorry, you probably already are!)

  2. boomiebol says:

    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.

  3. janehewey says:

    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.

  4. Mama Zen says:

    I saw the “mommy gene” thing on the news this morning. How I wish that I had written this poem!

  5. BroadBlogs says:

    So sweet.

    What a wonderful present for your daughter. (The poem and having you for a mom.)

  6. Green Speck says:

    Jeans and genes … You are too good a poet … hats off to you πŸ™‚

  7. 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!

  8. That’s really beautiful – and more powerful for motherhood being a choice.

    • Thanks, Holly. I agree. Can’t tell you how many times I heard as a child — “I never wanted kids, anyway…”

      I will never be able to say that to her, that’s for sure…

  9. nelle says:

    I was really curious on what you’d fashion out of the story… you nailed it with the personal. Perfect.

  10. unfetteredbs says:


  11. Rhonda says:

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

  12. Excellent play on words. My sentiments, Madame.

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