Emily Paige Wilson
Our son will have solar flare
freckles splattered on his cheeks,
soft skin all coppered and pink.
He’ll think of the funniest jokes,
but will be too embarrassed to tell them.
A soul with two polar impulses:
sensitive and disobedient and the strangeness
in between. Every time I ask you
whose hairline he’ll have, you bring me
back down. You only imagine getting
pregnant by accident. This is true, but
you don’t have to call me on my bluff.
Isn’t it enough to know our son
might not be able to breathe in these
asthmatic greenhouse gases? Might only
know polar bears as plush stuffed animals,
imagination stitched and falling apart
at the seams? What if he fails first
grade, refuses to sit still when his teachers
try to embed testing strips into his
fingertips? What is he catches us watching
the nightly news, groups of people
herded off to those punishment camps
for the unpatriotic and the poor?
Don’t blame me for this game: believing
we could bear a child with such hope,
however false, that his life is infinite.
When our son asks why we’ve brought
him here, I want to look into that fear-
full face and say, “I never meant to, I
EMILY PAIGE WILSON’s debut chapbook “I’ll Build Us a Home” is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and two Pushcart Prizes. Her work can be found in The Adroit Journal, The Boiler Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, PANK, and Thrush, among others. She lives in Wilmington, NC, where she received her MFA from UNCW, and works as an English adjunct.