wishes for sons

i wish them cramps.
i wish them a strange town
and the last tampon.
i wish them no 7-11.

i wish them one week early
and wearing a white skirt.
i wish them one week late.

later i wish them hot flashes
and clots like you
wouldn’t believe. let the
flashes come when they
meet someone special.
let the clots come
when they want to.

let them think they have accepted
arrogance in the universe,
then bring them to gynecologists
not unlike themselves.

– Lucille Clifton

Postscript:

Lucille Clifton was a poet I whose first work I read was “The lost baby poem”, an unsettling work that talks about miscarriage. She isn’t all sturm und drang, though – for a delightful change of pace, look for “Homage to my hips”, running later this month.
As for this poem itself, it’s amusing on one level, sobering on another. It reminds me of an article I read sometime last month titled ‘No Toilet, No Bride’ that discussed how slanted even something as basic as access to sanitation is. More than a little ironic when you think about the ‘usual’ complaint of how long women take in the bathroom.

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