Tag Archives: family planning

UNhappy Birthday

this is a poem i had in my backpack for a year, but i ran into a wall and could never finish it. then two things happened: my homeboy, who lost three children, was expecting another child, but the mother got an abortion against his wishes.

two days later i came across a song “happy birthday”, by flipside, about abortion (excellent song btw). just the inspiration i needed to cap off my piece, and gave me the perfect title! Flipsyde, you da man!


we exist among the living loved

the unwanted

the dead

ill-timed arrivals send souls

sentenced to join the unworthy

plummeting down the endless canals

of our otherwise welcoming walls we



brutal finales

fatal finishes of long-awaited

happy birthdays

never to arrive

maybe you, but not me

i am the side effect of love gone awry

or conceived too young

or unsure parentage

sucking away at shallow pockets

of lifestyles that beg to be maintained


you can see me in the empty seats

in kindergarten classrooms

laughter not heard

smiles not seen

tender touches never felt

only in the dreams of the mothers

and fathers

who regret

my death

wondering thoughts of what i

might have been


though it may appear my name is

“not yet”

am i a boy or girl?

only God knows

was i to be a momma’s boy

or daddy’s princess?

have her eyes

or his nose?

i am the gleam in a grandmother’s eye

or the shame of an unwed teen’s cries

found in toilet bloodclots

ultrasound blots

i loved you.

my small hands and

pre-formed fingers

too underdeveloped

to defend myself in this warm

watery womb-world

that fed me

nourished me

gave me a glimmer of future

for 8 whole weeks

i would have been

a good son

faint, distant screams drowned in

placenta violated by instruments


cries of

let me live

i would have been

a good son.

but my ill-fated,

ill-timed arrival gave the false reassurance

of a “later time”, yet

i won’t be back

and we exist in the

profane presence of selfish minds—

a memory

fresh from God’s own hand

clumps of miry clay

left behind to dry

never the apple of your eye

never got the chance to breathe

or smile

or crawl

or walk

or talk

or jump

or climb

or run

or pray

or grow

or laugh

or play

and me?

i never even had a name


and because of “free choice”

i never

got the chance

to be.

happy birthday, babies…





“unhappy birthday”

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Filed under Poetry