The Planned Child
I hated the fact that they had planned me, she had taken a cardboard out of his shirt from the laundry as if sliding the backbone up out of his body, and made a chart of the month and put her temperature on it, rising and falling, to know the day to make me--I would have liked to have been conceived in heat, in haste, by mistake, in love, in sex, not on cardboard, the little x on the rising line that did not fall again. But when a friend was pouring wine and said that I seem to have been a child who had been wanted, I took the wine against my lips as if my mouth were moving along that valved wall in my mother's body, she was bearing down, and then breathing from the mask, and then bearing down, pressing me out into the world that was not enough for her without me in it, not the moon, the sun, Orion cartwheeling across the dark, not the earth, the sea--none of it was enough, for her, without me. Sharon Olds