Please note: This poem is not about abortion or adoption but the decision not to have children for ethical reasons.

Click here to listen to Sophia Celeste read

Oil on Pigment Print 2004
Anna Montgomery

A supreme act of love,
to spare her this world
not creating her
immersing her
in the vessel of embodiment
to set foot to damp earth
breathe electric air

Traversing from emergence
to denouement of swan’s song

A kindness, a blessed mercy
leaving my Sophia Celeste,
heavenly wisdom,
a disembodied cherub

My darling girl
I couldn’t expose you
all the destruction
abuses, famines and disasters
both personal and impersonal

Unleash you consuming
onto a ravaged world
clamoring among billions
to delineate your lot
suckling a weary breast
I knew the sacrifice
willingly paid to ethics

So often I miss you
yearning for the demulcent
tuft of your hair
gentle slope of your nose
cradled in the curve of my neck

It is a physical wrenching
a phantom birthing pain
this separation from you, my beloved

My baby love, sweet angel
whose effervescent wisp
the merest hint of whom
invokes requiem verses
laments of agony resounding
in a refrain of abandonment

I left you in the gilded cage of imagination
never to awaken