Monday, 30 March 2020

Her Eggs

by Tamara Madison

My daughter needs money
so she’s going to sell some eggs.
I think of her abdomen with its two
purses of ripening ova, each egg
bearing the DNA that we gave her.
Someday these small orbs
may become grandchildren,
but we won’t know them.
I want to cry out:
Hey, those are MY grandchildren!

Alas, they are her eggs, not mine.
Even so, she will be giving
those potential beings
our genes for blue eyes
and Rh negative blood,
a talent for music, a bent
for addiction. They may get
the Ojena chin, the Soulé wit,
the Gardner back,
but they won’t know any of this.

These new humans will not be
accidental products of an act
of passion; they will carry
our genes in anonymity
as they tread the earth, unaware
of their cousins and half-
siblings who will know these bits
of genetic history that they all
will pass down for as long
as humans inhabit the earth,
whether or not I can hold them,
sing to them, or kiss
their sweet young heads.

* * * * *

Tamara Madison is the author of the chapbook The Belly Remembers and two full-length volumes of poetry, Wild Domestic and Moraine, all published by Pearl Editions. Her work has appeared in Chiron Review, Your Daily Poem, A Year of Being Here, Nerve Cowboy, the Writer’s Almanac, Sheila-Na-Gig, and many other publications. She has recently retired from teaching English and French in Los Angeles and is happy to finally get some sleep. More about Tamara can be found at