“An Open Letter to Our Sperm Donor” by Robin Silbergleid

Robin Silbergleid


Our daughter looks like me
      people say, the architecture
of her eyebrows and pointed stare.
      But in the photograph of you
at thirteen months: our baby’s
      toothless grin after she’s grabbed
the cat by the tail. Every child
      you said needs a mother who reads
and each night I let her suck
      thick cardboard illustrations,
Big Red Barn and Goodnight Moon,
      while I balance her on my lap.
If you lived with us, you
      would know this. Perhaps
you would bring me a cup of tea
      while I nurse her on the couch,
a book of poems open nearby.
      Sometimes I wonder if you wonder
about us, when you’re at work
      in the laboratory or when
you’re feeding your new son a bottle.
      The stories of our children
are woven together. The tapestry
      couldn’t be more beautiful, filled
with these widening holes.

from Rattle #41, Fall 2013
Tribute to Single Parent Poets

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Robin Silbergleid: “I live in East Lansing, Michigan, where I write, teach, and raise my two children. This poem comes from my manuscript The Baby Book, which deals with infertility treatment and becoming a single mother by choice.”

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