Abortions will not let you forget.
You remember the children you got that you did not get,
The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,
The singers and workers that never handled the air.
You will never neglect or beat
Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.
You will never wind up the sucking-thumb
Or scuttle off ghosts that come.
You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,
Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.
I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed
I have contracted. I have eased
My dim dears at the breasts they could never suck.
I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized
And your lives from your unfinished reach,
If I stole your births and your names,
Your straight baby tears and your games,
Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches,
and your deaths,
If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,
Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate.
Though why should I whine,
Whine that the crime was other than mine?--
Since anyhow you are dead.
Or rather, or instead,
You were never made.
But that too, I am afraid,
Is faulty: oh, what shall I say, how is the truth to be said?
You were born, you had body, you died.
It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried.
Believe me, I loved you all.
Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you
The narrator, a woman against abortion, is speaking ironically of why she should feel sorry for an aborted baby ("though why should I whine" L22) when she generally stands in opposition to abortion. The first three quarters describe everything missed after an abortion by the baby (like no birth, no childhood, no crying, no laughing, etc.)in intense feeling. It brings a very dismal mood with words such as "if I poisoned the beginnings of your breath", "you were never made", and "the damp small pulps with little or with no hair". I feel like her mood and tone help in an effort to shun abortion in its entirety because it is "murder", and also because countless details of life are left out and never created. There is also a feeling of remorse for the unborn children in the last two lines, supporting both the narrator's stand against it, and her emotional connection to the topic.