“A Poem for Women Who Don’t Want Children” by Chanel Brenner

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. 


from Rattle #42, Winter 2013
2013 Rattle Poetry Prize Finalist

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Chanel Brenner: “This poem was inspired by the answers I used to get from other mothers when I asked how they were doing with the whole new mother thing. It is from a collection of poems I have written about my son, Riley, since he died at age six from an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). Writing about the loss has helped me survive. I hope my poems help others heal and realize they are not alone in their pain.”

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