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Friday, January 30, 2004

Today is black Friday, the 7th anniversary of my first child's death. I almost didn't remember it. I woke up and it seemed like any other day. The only thing amiss was feeling oddly concerned for my son's safety. I kept hoping nothing would happen that would take his life. Images of car wrecks or crazed schoolyard shooters flickered through my mind. Why? I couldn't grasp it. Was it a warning?

No. It was a memory.

Someone I loved, a child of mine, died a very gruesome, violent death seven years ago. It is in there, in my heart and mind, even when I forget to remember.

I am thinking of who that child must have been and what s/he must have looked like, sounded like, smelled likeā€”the whole package. I wish I could remember my life without this stone. I forget who I was; I only know me without Tennessee.

I struggled to get through that pregnancy, but other than that, I never got to love my child. I gave up. I cried Uncle. I never got to love Tennessee.

For Tennessee

I'm not allowed to love you.
The "pro-life" movement says
I can only feel guilty and then set free.
The "pro-choice" movement says
I can only feel liberated and grateful.
Death says
feelings are moot.

Gears spin

as abortion snaps a belt

in the machine of adoration.

Vats of earmarked love

grease broken apparatuses,
fueling the unhappiness
of life without you,
of days that remember
your black passing,
reverberating forever
in the vacuum of time.


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