A few weeks ago, Mel challenged her MFA Sunday School students to write a villanelle. This was a new one for me. And quite difficult. It’s metered, rhymed, and two of the lines are repeated at very specific places within the form. This is what I came up with. It’s a very rough draft, and still untitled, so be kind.
It’s when I think of all the things I’ve missed
that life bears down on me with all its weight.
I want someone to guide me by the wrist.
My mother, if she were here, would insist
I focus on the things I can create
and not obsess on all the things I’ve missed.
But now she’s gone; I’ll add her to the list.
She’ll never hold my child—that’s my sad fate—
and she’s not here to guide me by the wrist.
The life we’ve always wanted can’t exist
without science to help us procreate.
It makes me think of all the things I’ve missed,
like pregnancy announcements with a twist—
Surprise! I didn’t know ‘til I was late.
I want someone to guide me by the wrist
away from all the grandmothers who’ve kissed
their grandkids’ cheeks while I accumulate
the souvenirs of all the things I’ve missed
and yearn for a child to guide by the wrist.