“Prayer on National Childfree Day” by Abby E. Murray

Abby E. Murray


Blessed are the miscarriages,
the midnight cramps
and ultrasound jelly,
the long tongue of photographs
that betrays my empty pocket.
Blessed are the minus signs
and skipped cycles and scarring,
the injections drawn up at dawn
by faithful partners
then needled into the thigh.
Blessed be the benders,
the cigarettes and sushi,
the labradoodles and collies
with a bed in every room.
Blessed are the scholars,
the babysitters and aunts,
for you shall bring us
the pregnant woman’s confession:
her passion for pineapple
and your own wasted time,
her blue hour longer than yours,
her well of love dug deeper.
Blessed are the poems
you scratch into the ground,
the nights drained of sleep
and washed with worry.
Happy national day of choice,
day of desire, day of emptiness,
happy national day of solitude.
Happy day of nobody’s business,
happy day of the naked night.
I’ve made a cake for you
nine layers high, come,
bring a fork, bring a plate.

from Rattle #51, Spring 2016
Tribute to Feminist Poets

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Abby E. Murray: “As a military spouse who writes to cope with war and the army lifestyle, it seems impossible not to be a feminist poet. When my daughter was born, I read A Room of One’s Own to her, aloud, before any other book, because it is the closest we will get to a room of our own. If that doesn’t make me a feminist I don’t know what the hell does.” (website)

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